...Continued from page 1

To be continued, no doubt.

Our Very Own Tabloid News

Lady bank robbers, nicknamed 'The Amazons,' also filled some newspaper columns last week. Five of them, dressed in men's clothes, with fake moustaches, wigs and dark glasses, robbed seven banks - starting with 100,000 francs taken in 1989. The sole man involved - as their driver, on the first job - was dismissed from the gang for being afraid to stop in front of a Crédit Agricole.

They took a year off and recommenced sticking up banks in 1990, sometimes at intervals of two weeks. After one holdup, one of them went grocery shopping with her mother. In July 1990, they retired.

A miserable break-in in July 1991 lead to their arrests and they were held in prison temporarily until 1992, when they were released under judicial control. As their trial got underway Thursday, they are in the news again.

The head prosecutor does not think there is anything picturesque about the group's activities. "Does one have the right to commit hold-ups if one is the mother of the family?" he asked. He reminded the court, that even if society was reproached as being sexist, when one has a firearm in the hand, man or woman, "The result is the same." He demanded penalties from 10 years down to four years, depending on the amount of responsibility of each. One of the ladies, had returned to France from Australia, for the trial.

Although two of the group deny any participation, the defense lawyers are arguing that after the time already spent in prison, after six years of their peaceful co-existence with society - more prison time would be cruel. Verdict: next week.

'Heritage Days' Visitors Up 12 Percent

Last weekend's 'Journées du Patrimoine' drew eight million visitors for its 13th edition. Crowds waited for hours to tour the Hôtel de Sully and the residence of the President of the Assembly National, the 'splendid' Hôtel de Lassay, and the Elysée Palace. The crowd scenes were duplicated around the country,where some natural sites were included for the first time.

Yul Brynner Auction Tops Estimates

Also last week, I announced the Paris auction of the actor Yul Brynner's collection of stage and movie role costumes, to take place on Monday. The black hat he wore for the 'Sept Mercenaires' fetched 73,000 francs, and the total sales amounted to 4,2 million francs - far above the estimate of 1,5 million. His Mexican boots went for 35,000 instead of 2000, and the Colt Peacemaker was carted off for 64,000 francs. Most of the costumes were reportedly bought by Americans. Mr. Brynner died in 1985.

Big Commie Party Scores Success

After I wrote about the big annual Communist Party party last week, I bought Monday's edition of l'Humanité to see how they did. I was surprised to learn that my paper shop only gets two copies of 'L'Huma' daily. The local 'closet royalists' probably outnumber the local 'closet cocos' by 100 to zero - excuse me: 100 to two, and I've probably ripped off somebody's copy.

At noon last Sunday, 230,000 advance tickets had been sold - not counting unreported sales and tickets bought directly at the entries. The newspaper sold 2191 subscriptions, and the PCF itself picked up over 5000 new members. With the Socialist Party drifting towards the centre, and without Moscow hanging around its neck, the French Communist Party is emerging as the serious conscious of the social-left in France. And as the patron of France's biggest pop music festival.

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