Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2007, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1988

Hongkong's tennis-loving Chief Secretary, Sir David Ford, paid $10,000 for American star Andre Agassi's shorts. He bought the striking denims at a charity auction of sportswear worn by players in the Marlboro Championship. The auction was staged to raise funds for sufferers of cystic fibrosis and the newly-founded Tennis Foundation.

When asked about his acquisition of Agassi's shorts, Sir David said: 'I was planning to make a donation to help promote junior tennis.

'But I also have two teenage children in school in England who are great fans of Agassi, so I decide to kill two birds with one stone.'

Sir David is not trim enough to wear the 18-year-old sex symbol's short himself.

'They wouldn't fit me,' he said.

Los Angeles: Republican George Bush gained the edge over Democrat Michael Dukakis in their second and last debate in the United States presidential campaign, dealing another blow to the Massachusetts Governor's trailing candidacy.

In a 90-minute encounter watched by 100 million Americans, Mr Dukakis failed to deliver the strong performance political experts said he needed to gain ground on the Vice-President for the November 8 election.

'The Vice-President was right on target and quite persuasive,' President Ronald Reagan said from the White House.

An American woman who used her retirement money to buy thousands of rubber gloves in an attempt to exploit the growing concern over Aids admitted her business judgment was full of holes.

Justine Spiros, 60, had 600,000 latex gloves in her basement and no way to get rid of them, let alone recover her US$61,000 outlay. The grandmother of five first realised her venture might be getting out of hand when she started looking for samples to send to prospective customers.

'I found gloves with fingers off, big holes, tears, streaks, stains and lumps,' she said. The seller would not give her a refund. Mrs Spiros got into the business because, with growing concern about blood-transmitted diseases, demand for gloves was high and supply short.

London: The publisher of Spycatcher, the memoirs of ex-intelligence agent Peter Wright, decided against printing the book in Britain despite a court ruling allowing newspapers to publish extracts.

William Heinemann Ltd said British booksellers had ordered more than 70,000 copies of the book, printed by its sister company in Australia, where in June the British Government lost a court battle to ban the book. If the book were printed in Britain, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Government might take action to seize profits from publication and sales of the hitherto-banned book, the publishing company said.

'It would be quixotic of us to rush out and incur another injunction,' William Heinemann spokeswoman Helen Fraser said. 'The government has shown every sign of never growing weary of legal action.'

London: Soviet leaders nearly plunged the world into nuclear war in 1983 fearing the West was about to launch a surprise nuclear strike, a top Soviet defector has alleged. Former KGB agent Colonel Oleg Gordievsky, reputed to be the highest-ranking agent to defect to the West, made the claim in a book he was about to publish.

The Russians panicked, Mr Gordievsky said, and urged all KGB agents abroad to look out for signs that the West was about to start a nuclear war.

The book said the Kremlin believed it would take the West up to 10 days to prepare for an attack ... and that detection of these indicators was needed by the Soviet High Command to move to a higher level of alert.

Agents were instructed to look for more communication from the prime minister to the queen, unusual troop movements and other signs.