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Mother Teresa Wins a Kind Word From South Africa

Mother Teresa, whose message from country to country has been one of love, didn’t disappoint South Africans, who heard her speak of a need for man’s humanity to man at a black squatters’ camp in Winterveld. She also was praised in a newspaper known for its support of apartheid because she refrained from speaking of politics during her weeklong stay, which ended Tuesday. Mother Teresa had told reporters at the beginning of her visit that she would not become involved in political debate, and added: “I did not know that something like apartheid existed.” The Citizen, a Johannesburg daily, said the Roman Catholic nun was more worthy of praise than Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whom it described as a “political priest whose pronouncements cause division.”

Country music singer Mel Tillis was totting up the losses from a devastating fire that demolished his $1.3-million home in Tennessee, mourning the loss of personal items such as family photos and his music awards, when he got one more shock: He learned that the fire had also destroyed his teeth. “I lost my choppers. I got a couple of (dental) plates in there that are calling Melvin. . . Melvin. . . come and get me!” Tillis said. The singer and his 17-month-old daughter were asleep in the house, in the community of Possum Trot, when the fire broke out in the late afternoon. It apparently started in a pan of grease left on the stove while Tillis’ wife, Judy, was talking on the telephone. “I got out of there. I was in my drawers,” said Tillis, who had to borrow clothes from a neighbor.

Morocco’s reigning monarch got a kingly tax break on 225 acres in New Jersey when the Somerset County tax board ruled that the property qualified for a lower rate because it is used for agricultural purposes. County officials agreed with representatives of King Hassan II, who argued that most of the 322-acre estate should be reassessed because it is used to raise corn and hay and cattle. “He is using the land as a farm and has produced income from that land,” said tax board member Warren Nevins. “He’s entitled to (lower rate) just like anybody else.” The value of the estate, in the borough of Peapack & Gladstone, was reduced from $25.8 million to $7.3 million, and the king’s property tax was lowered to $57,764 from $204,591. Neighbors say they have never seen the king on the property and no one knows if he has visited it.


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