- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 17, 2006

BRITAIN

Minister seeks ban on skinny models

LONDON — A British Cabinet minister yesterday called for London Fashion Week to follow its Madrid counterpart and ban extremely thin models from the catwalk.

Fashion Week organizers rejected the call — but said they were canceling the event’s opening photo call to avoid giving the issue more publicity.

Earlier this month, Madrid’s Fashion Week, the Pasarela Cibeles, announced it was banning models with a Body Mass Index, or height to weight ratio, below 18.

Organizers of the Spanish event said they wanted models to project “an image of beauty and health” and shun a gaunt, emaciated look.

MOLDOVA

Youths protest against president

TIRASPOL — Young people danced in a square in Tiraspol, the main city in former-Soviet Moldova’s separatist Trans-Dniester region, as Moldova’s president was burned in effigy.

“We will not be puppets of the West. We have our own democracy,” Alyona Arshinova told them through a megaphone. “We want to be independent. And we will vote for it.”

Such is the resolve of residents of Trans-Dniester, a sliver of land bordering Ukraine, ahead of today’s referendum inviting them to vote on the independence their leaders proclaimed 16 years ago and eventually join Russia.

No one recognizes Trans-Dniester’s independence and no Western country will endorse the vote as legitimate.

GREECE

Housework keeps women in shape

ATHENS — Ancient Greeks thought that a healthy body begets a sound mind, but their modern descendants — women particularly — appear to get most of their exercise from housework, a Greek daily stated yesterday.

Greeks today shape up mostly through housework and walking, rather than from any concerted effort to keep fit, Kathimerini daily’s English edition reported, citing a study by the University of Athens Medical School.

Research on more than 28,000 adults by the university showed 98 percent of Greek women spend 28 hours per week doing housework, while 95.8 percent devote five hours to walking.

GERMANY

Oktoberfest draws thousands to Munich

MUNICH — The 173rd Oktoberfest beer festival swung into action here yesterday, starting 18 days of high-spirited fun and drinking that are expected to attract six million visitors.

Men in the prosperous southern city were still in their traditional lederhosen two days after Pope Benedict XVI flew out of Munich following a controversial visit, but the cheers were now of “bier, bier,” rather than “Benedetto, Benedetto.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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