It figured to be one of those TV talk shows in which the guests would strike sparks off one another. One is a famous ultraleftist, Arlette Laguiller, the presidential candidate of France's Workers' Struggle Party. The other: Geneviéve de Fontenay, chairwoman of the Miss France beauty pageant, a symbol of materialist excess any good proletarian revolutionary surely would oppose on principle alone. So there was much holding of breath when the program on Match TV aired from Paris one night last week. And did sparks fly? Well, no. In fact, the two women hit it off so well that after the show de Fontenay wrote Laguiller a check - for about $650 - to put toward her campaign.

They may not be wide, but Britain's roads rank safest

Britain has Europe's busiest, yet safest, roads according to the European Road Assessment Program (EuroRAP), a consortium of the continent's motor clubs. A 16-nation survey found Britain had the heaviest traffic, but fewest road fatalities per capita. Portugal had the most. The 10 safest places to drive in Europe, with road fatalities per 100,000 people in 1999, according to EuroRAP:

Britain 5.9

Sweden 6.6

Netherlands 6.9

Switzerland 8.2

Finland 8.4

Germany 9.5

Denmark 9.7

Italy 11.0

Ireland 11.0

Austria 13.4 - Associated Press

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