Despite threats of prosecution by a local magistrate, Italian porn star Ilona (Cicciolina) Staller returned to the stage Saturday for the first time since being elected to the Chamber of Deputies on a Radical Party ticket earlier this month. The blond performer, 36, appeared before about 200 people in a nightclub in Viareggio, a beach resort in northwestern Italy. Because of milling crowds outside the Seagull n1768384628after midnight. Cicciolina, which translates roughly into "little chubby one," stepped on stage in an extravagant costume that had wings on the back and exposed her chest in front. Between acts she made short political speeches. Staller said she would work to abolish Article 528 of the penal code, which prohibits obscene shows. She also said she wanted sex education in primary schools. "I want to forge ahead, like Joan of Arc, with a battle against the sense of decency," she told the crowd. But the crowd shouted back: "We paid 50,000 lire ($38) to see you perform. Save your speeches for Parliament."
--On March 24, 1946, British Broadcasting Corp. radio listeners heard their first "Letter From America" delivered by Alistair Cooke, the first in a series of folksy chats that were scheduled to last only 13 weeks. Last Friday night, Cooke performed his role as the eyes and ears in the United States for millions of British radio listeners for the 2,000th time. His range of observations was typical: commenting on the demise of the U.S. suntanning craze following skin cancer warnings, air pollution in New York City and government responses to the AIDS epidemic. "In America, the race is on between its decadence and its vitality, and it has lots of both," Cooke told a London newspaper recently.