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Golly, what a shock it must have been to Bella Abzug and all those other women to learn that China is a repressive society and its authoritarian government is not above thuggish behavior toward just about everyone.

Top NY PR woman Lou Hammond celebrates 10 years in biz Oct. 16 at the Russian Tea Room.

Spin magazine had a dandy first half with ad pages up 41% over the period a year earlier and ad revenues 81% ahead. Editor-Publisher Bob Guccione Jr. boosted the rate base from 400,000 to 450,000 effective this month. Page rates go up as well, you will not be surprised to learn.

That new slick mag, The World of Hibernia, edited and published by Kevin Kelly, is having a little reception Wednesday evening at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan "in praise of Irish-American women."

I'm shocked, shocked! to learn this latest (1996) edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac "is loaded with all-new articles on everything from aphrodisiacs to zippers." And a good thing, too, since they didn't get last winter's weather even close.

Critics trashed that new $5 million first novel, "The Horse Whisperer," published by Delacorte. Said it made the Waller books ("Madison County," etc.) read like literature. Redford's already bought movie rights.

The Washingtonian mag will be 30 years old and Phil and Ellie Merrill and Editor Jack Limpert will host a celebration in D.C. Sept. 27.

Also boasting a bit, Randy Jones of Worth magazine, over new Associate Publisher/Marketing Director Fred Nelson, who's done time at Time Inc., Leo Burnett and Esquire. The September issue, says Randy, was their best ever, up 52% over a year ago in pages and 83% in bucks.

At Cosmopolitan, new Publisher Donna Galotti is already shaking up the lineup, bringing in as associate publisher-marketing, Esther Laufer.

Well, hello, Carol! Carol Channing returns to Broadway in a revival of "Hello, Dolly!" for a seven-week run. Opening night's Oct. 19.

Another Carol, this one Carol Anderson Taber, reports the newly redesigned Working Mother, a Lang magazine, will have its best October issue (in ad pages) in a decade.

Metropolitan Home mag promoted Robin Kugelman to eastern ad manager.

Retiring from the American Homestyle Group where he was an ace sales guy is one of the best known media people around, George Finn. In an earlier life George fought in Korea as a buck sergeant under the legendary Marine "Chesty" Puller.

New position at Cowles Magazines, group VP of custom marketing, is now filled by Steve Norton.

Looks like the summer doldrums are over. Travel & Leisure says the October issue, with 148 ad pages is the mag's best October in eight years and up 36% over a year ago.

Has The New York Times eliminated its fact checking dept.? In an otherwise splendid tribute to the great and just departed Alfred Eisenstaedt, the paper ran a full page of some of his best photos, including one of Joseph Goebbels, the caption reading, "..... in chair, with two aides in 1944." Didn't anyone at the Times pause to wonder just how, in the fifth year of the war, an American Jew named Eisenstaedt was able to call on one of the top Nazis and get him to pose, in or out of a chair? The photo was actually taken in the 1920s.

Buzz magazine Publisher Susan Gates says things are booming, with the rate base for the first time to be boosted above 100,000. Also to be viewed as good news, the L.A.-based mag's cover story, "The Return of Doris Day," informing us, good girls are back and "power sluts" are gone.

How can CBS spend all that delicious dough to telecast the U.S. Open (and do a nifty job of it) and then let their graphics department throw up a photo of Boris Becker with his first name spelled, for a national TV audience, "Borris"?

Thurber, were he still alive (which he isn't), would be celebrating his 100th birthday Dec. 8 of this year. Any gala plans over at The New Yorker or are they too occupied taking down Roseanne's pensees?

Sorry to see that great little Manhattan jazz club, Fat Tuesday's, closing. It was at Third Ave. and 17th Street since 1979.

Rochelle Udell as editor of Self! A stunner. But this woman may be able to do just about anything. And superbly.

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