News Mother Teresa: Skopje also has plans for a huge statue of the nun, who was born in the city

Not content with four-storey statues of Alexander the Great and Mother Teresa, city planners in Skopje are now inviting bids for a version of Rome’s Spanish Steps, part of a beautification campaign that has divided residents.

BOOK REVIEW / Suburbia's lonely hearts club band

Emma Hagestadt enjoys a spooky tale of mating rituals and dating nightm ares; Dance with Me by Lousie Doughty Simon and Schuster, pounds 9.99

Tales of the city

The monsoon is well and truly over, air fares are down at the moment: there's never been a better time to visit India. In the following pages, Independent writers give a flavour of what this vast country has to offer, and below Tim McGirk, our India correspondent, starts with its schizophrenic capital

The caravan site was next to a jalopy race track. It was too cold and windy for the beach. But `The Sound of Music' was showing in Tenby

We're staying with friends by the sea and the air's dark with rain and everyone else has gone out. Chloe (4) and I are left alone with our runny noses, a packet of McVitie's chocolate digestives and our friends' bewilderingly eclectic collection of videos.

The Taj Mahal of the North Circular

Britain's hi-tech pavilion was the star of the 1992 Seville Expo. It's about to rise again: as an Asian Disneyland in suburbia, if Sharad Patel has his way. Peter Popham reports

Dance / Snappy suits are old hat

IN THE beginning was the name - the Featherstonehaughs. Once you knew how to pronounce it you were part of the clan - a clever piece of marketing. Then there was the line-up: a bunch of good-time guys, cheerful, streetwise, and not a pair of tights in sight. The mode was informal and witty, poking fun at the worn conventions of male posturing on stage. The "Fanshaws" were smart, and in bringing Rayban culture to dance, they brought dance to the Rayban wearers. Their appearance on The South Bank Show won the largest-ever TV audience for dance. But seven years on, Mafia-style shades and snappy suits are looking jaded, and so, sorry to say, are the Fans. Their '95 tour ended its run at Sadler's Wells this week in what should have been a blaze of glory. Instead it went out like a light.


He has sold more than 200 million records. He has slept with more than 3,000 women. He flirts for a living. And he's playing Wembley tonight. Ladies and gentlemen: Julio Iglesias

LETTER : Restoration of the Taj Mahal

From Mr Rajiv Dogra

Dear Narasimha Rao

It's not enough just to try to preserve the Taj Mahal, the producer of the 'Bandung File' tells India's Prime Minister - you also have to take care of the environment

Mention art, and I reach for my wand

The Tate Gallery is about to introduce an easy-to-use, hi-tech gadget t hat guides you around its exhibitions. Tim Jackson finds out how it works

BOOK REVIEW: Portrait of a most superior person

CURZON David Gilmour John Murray, £25

India claims plague epidemic is beaten

THE PLAGUE that has swept across India over the past few weeks is ending. The World Health Organisation claimed the scourge has been defeated in Surat, the western city with most victims, even though two more died there yesterday. In other cities, the disease is also waning.

Admirer to the rescue as marble cancer ravages India's monument to love

THE Taj Mahal is a short but harrowing ride down the Grand Trunk Road from the Indian capital, but a Delhi lawyer, M C Mehta, had only once glimpsed the Moghul monument before he began a crusade through the courts to save it.

Game for a tour

Wildlife-wise, India lives in Africa's shadow. A 20-day 'Jungle Odyssey' tour with Cox & Kings (071-873 5000), departing 19 November, aims to redress that. For pounds 2,395, you can visit Corbett National Park, Bharatpur bird sanctuary and the Taj Mahal.

Boxing: Fight fixing and sabotage alleged

Dave Tiberi has sued the International Boxing Federation, Trump Taj Mahal Association, ABC Sports Inc and others, including two fight judges, for damages and a reversal of a 1992 decision. Tiberi alleges the defendants 'sabotaged' his fight in 1992 with James Toney for the IBF middleweight title. The lawsuit claims the IBF appointed two 'fraudulently biased judges' who, because of alleged loyalty to the defending champion, scored the fight in his favour.

Taj threatened

Owners of factories near the Taj Mahal threatened to destroy the monument if a decision by India's Supreme Court to close them down were implemented, Reuter reports from Agra.
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