Zino Davidoff died in Geneva at 87. I interviewed him once; smoked many of his cigars. He shall be missed.
Parliament will soon debate approving consentual sex for boys of 16 (as is now OK for British girls). Many ferocious editorials this way and that in the Fleet Street papers. Also letters, including this to The Daily Telegraph from Mrs. Jean Mitchell of Aberdour, Fife. "My own father, born in this country in 1893 but sent to be educated in France at the age of 7, had a mistress until the age of 87."
The Bishop of London, the Right Rev. David Hope, has a nickname: "Ena the Cruel."
A French food writer has been ordered to pay about $10,000 in libel damages to a restaurant in Rennes he said served fish "not even a starving cormorant" would eat.
Commander M.B.S. Higham of London assures the The Telegraph's editor that Freemasons do too welcome Catholics.
The Times reports Australian woman cricketeer Denise Annetts went to the Anti-Discrimination Board there to complain she'd been cut from the national team "because she is not a lesbian."
Le Figaro prints a new survey that 55% of French voters believe Edouard Balladur will be the next President of France after Mitterrand. But the Herald Tribune, while finding Balladur (current P.M.) deft and charming, fears he may be too cautious.
Latest French showbiz sensation, a one-woman show by comedienne Mimie Mathy, a 36-year-old dwarf. Mimie says she is not upset to be called a dwarf and is always amused when people refer to her as "la petite naine," "the little dwarf."
The Italian government resigned and new elections were called, the 947th since the war.
Time Inc. photographers, presumably from Life magazine, have been in Normandy shooting precisely the same sites and scenes shot 50 years ago on D-Day. Smart idea. The Life D-Day shots of 1944 were what we had instead of television. Memorable stuff.
Daniel Filipacchi suspended publication of his saucy monthly Lui. Its circulation once topped 300,000 but fell to 59,000 last year. Daniel said he had no plans to sell the title and might revive Lui on a twice-a-year basis. Le Figaro, so conservative, noted its "humor and charm."
I was speaking to an American correspondent pal from my Paris hotel room when the line went dead. When I called back he said, "The Deuxieme Bureau had to change its tape." The assumption for years has been all journalists' phones are routinely bugged by the Deuxieme, their FBI.
Democracy also thrives in India: AP reports from Bombay that 500 upper-caste Hindus attacked buses and trains protesting the renaming of a university in honor of an "untouchable."
You've all heard by now about that East London schoolmistress who wouldn't let the kids attend a free Royal Opera House performance of the "Romeo & Juliet" ballet? On grounds of its shocking heterosexuality? The second day angle on Fleet Street is she got her job thanks in part to a female "governor" on the school board who happens to live with her.
Let's hear it for old Tom Nelson, 67, a pensioner. Set upon by three young thugs who attempted to throttle him with his own scarf, Tom hit one in the face with the burning contents of his pipe and kneed another in the groin with his metal knee. "I was trained in self-defense in the RAF," he modestly told The Daily Mail.
The Times reports several stores in the Gateway grocery chain replaced gingerbread "men" with "persons," so as not to offend the politically correct.
Big excitement over Rupert Murdoch's shift of top editor Kelvin MacKenzie from perhaps the world's most profitable tabloid, The Sun, to become managing director of BSkyB, Murdoch's European satellite TV channel. Kelvin's a somewhat legendary figure who's run The Sun for 13 years and previously worked as an editor on the city side of the New York Post. One of his best Sun headlines, twitting European Union Chief Jacques Delors, who wanted the Brits to cave in on local preference, "Up Yours, Delors."
And The Daily Telegraph reports the House of Lords is advertising for a doorkeeper, a largely ceremonial role but one that calls for tact. It is said a doorkeeper at the Lords is expected to "tolerate absent-mindedness, illness and tipsiness among peers."