Needling: Cuban president Fidel Castro said Sunday...

Compiled by YEMI TOURE

Needling: Cuban president Fidel Castro said Sunday in Havana that his country’s scientists should develop a miracle cure for capitalism. The Cuban leader said capitalism still had not conquered prostitution, drug addiction, poverty and social injustice, and he boasted that health and education levels in Cuba were higher than in some developed nations. The United States has “more degeneracy . . . more vice, more violence . . . . We ought to develop a vaccine against the madness that is capitalism,” he joked.

On the Circuit: Former D.C. mayor Marion Barry, whose talk on videotape in a sting operation got him sandbagged, is using talk again to help dig himself out. A speakers agency has signed him up to talk about black politics, city government and alcohol and drug addiction. He wants to bring in about $10,000 a month, on top of a side job as consultant on affirmative action.

At Home: Beetle Bailey, the skinny, rumpled and dimwitted Army private in the comic strip, is going to college. The University of Missouri is exhibiting a bronze sculpture of Bailey by the strip’s creator, Mort Walker. Bailey will be in his accustomed dingy surroundings: a graffiti-covered booth at the Shack, a campus bar that was Walker’s hangout at his alma mater. After talking to students for about an hour recently, Walker got restless. “Is that enough time? After all, it’s Friday afternoon. I would have been over at the Shack by now drinking a beer.”

Motivator: George Bush and Big Bird were customers. Walt Disney Productions made a film about her. She lectured million-dollar-club salesmen and published a book--all before the ink was dry on her high school diploma. Markita Andrews was “the cookie kid,” the motivated Manhattan youngster who in 1985 sold 11,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Because she is now 19 and a sophomore at Princeton University, is she majoring in business to develop her selling talents? No; she’s sold on history and politics, she says.