BILL GATES has an unusual deal with his wife Melinda which allows him to spend one long weekend every spring with his old flame Ann Winblad, according to Time magazine, Gales broke up with Winblad in 1987, but they have remained friends.

According to Gates, the two spend their weekend visits at her North Carolina beach cottage walking along the beach and playing mini golf "while discussing biotechnology".

Heidi Fleiss, dubbed the "Hollywood Madam" for running a call girl service for the stars, has been sentenced in Los Angeles to three years in jail on charges of tax evasion and money laundering. Fleiss (31) was also given a $400 fine and ordered to perform 300 hours of community service.

Judge Consuelo Marshall agreed with lawyers for the defence that the case was tainted by sexism because Fleiss's clients were not taken to court.

French far right leader Jean Marie Le Pen has been fined a symbolic one franc for defamation by a court in Strasbourg, alter branding an anti racist group as "cop killers".

The National Front leader was ordered to pay the fine after the association Ras l'Front (Down with the Front) said he had confused it with another radical group linked to the killing of three policemen in Paris two years ago.

Evita, Alan Parker's musical movie starring Madonna, has broken box office records for the Odeon West End in London. It opened there exclusively on December 20th. Last weekend, Evita took a total of £2 006 488 at 335 screens, making a British box office total of £2,430,000.