Fischer marries for fifth time 

ROME: Germany's outgoing Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has married Wife Number Five at a civil ceremony in Rome, reports said yesterday. Fischer, 57, the most prominent figure in Germany's environmentalist Greens party, was married to 29-year-old Minu Barati, in a low-key ceremony at city hall conducted by another Green, Rome's mayor Walter Veltroni. Barati, daughter of an Iranian father and German mother, has a six-year-old daughter from a previous marriage and Fischer is father of a 26-year-old son and a 23-year-old daughter from his previous marriages. Fischer will soon step down from office following a German general election last month which has led to a new political lineup.

Batman Begins favourite movie

LONDON: Batman Begins, the most recent adventure of the comic superhero starring Christian Bale in the title role, has been voted top film of 2005 by British movie fans. The film fought off competition from the latest Star Wars offering, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, to land the number one spot in the poll of 15,000 film fans by Total Film magazine, released yesterday. Mickey Rourke was voted Man of the Year for his portrayal of the swaggering down-on-his-luck Marv in the cult movie Sin City. Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid, who played Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith, was named Best Movie Villain.

George Best off ventilator

LONDON: Former Manchester United star George Best was taken off a ventilator last night, breathing on his own as his condition improves. The 59-year-old Best is trying to recover from a series of life-threatening infections that have spread to his kidneys and other organs. He has been in intensive care for a month.

Age biggest threat says Sarandon

BERLIN: Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon said her outspoken stance against the US-led war in Iraq never hurt her career, and that the only thing Hollywood cannot forgive is "getting old and ugly". Longtime activist Sarandon, 59, told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that even as she was getting hate mail and death threats over her opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the offers for film roles kept coming in. "I have worked more than ever before since the protests against the Iraq war," she was quoted as saying. However, she she had not turned to a plastic surgeon.

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