CONFIRMING a musical reunion of the three surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney inducted John Lennon into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame on Wednesday night. 'For old time's sake, we're going to give it a whirl,' he said.
And the most celebrated feud in rock history came to an end as McCartney and Yoko Ono embraced after he handed her the award at the induction dinner in New York, also attended by Sean, son of Lennon and Ono. Lennon's widow had long been blamed for breaking up the Beatles, who were inducted into the Hall of Fame as a group in 1988. The hug brought tears to the eyes of many.
McCartney later contemplated a possible Lennon reaction to the honour: 'John would have been the guy in the crowd heckling.'
'And kicked out, maybe?' Ono added.
The musical reunion with George Harrison and Ringo Starr will be part of a television documentary on the Fab Four, who split up in 1970. 'We said we'd try and do a little incidental music for it,' McCartney said, adding: 'Unfortunately, the world's press has kind of blown it up like we're trying to better the Beatles, which we're certainly not trying to do.'
AS ONE controversy died, another was born. U2's Irish lead singer, Bono, inducted Bob Marley into the Rock Hall of Fame with a speech equating Jamaica, the reggae superstar's home, with Ireland as islands under the 'jackboot' of colonial tyranny. 'I know claiming Bob Marley as Irish might be a little difficult,' said Bono. 'We are both islands, we are both colonies. We share a fondness for procrastination. Don't put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the next day, unless of course it's freedom.'
A THIRD-FLOOR bedroom goes to her, the master bedroom to him. So ruled the New York State Supreme Court judge presiding over the custody battle for 14-month-old Ludwig Maximilian Koons. Mum is the former Italian MP and porn star Ilona Staller (better known as 'La Cicciolina') and dad is the American artist Jeff Koons.
Judge David Saxe ruled that Staller may stay in a third-floor bedroom in Koons's townhouse while she is in New York trying to win custody of her son. Koons spirited Ludwig to the United States from Staller's home in Rome on Christmas Eve. The artist said he took the boy because Staller broke her promise to stop making pornographic films and was raising her son in unsuitable surroundings. Koons says he found a dildo among his son's toys. Staller denies his allegations.
The couple separated in October, and Koons agreed to let Staller keep the child. Koons has applied for a divorce and custody of Ludwig.
PANAMA'S first lady, Ana Mae Endara, has withdrawn from her formal duties. Unlike the Princess of Wales, however, Mrs Endara has launched an independent political career. A flamboyant and controversial figure, she is running for mayor of Panama City in the elections on 8 May.
She has begun her campaign against the wishes of President Guillermo Endara and infuriated members of his governing coalition by accepting the nomination of the opposition Liberal Republic Party (PLR). The small and formerly little-known PLR is headed by collaborators of Manuel Antonio Noriega, who was toppled in the December 1989 US invasion that installed Mr Endara's government.
Mrs Endara is pitted against Mayin Correa, the former Panama City mayor suspended after allegations that she used public funds for private political purposes, and Isabel Corro, who heads the campaign for compensation from the United States for the 1989 invasion.
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