Four days after jubilantly claiming victory in the Teamsters union's 15-day strike against UPS, top Teamster Ron Carey found himself out of a job. A federal election overseer nullified Mr. Carey's narrow election last December as union president. The ruling came after an investigation revealed the Carey campaign had received more than $220,000 in illegal contributions. Mr. Carey, first elected in 1991 on a pledge to end decades-long corruption, insists he knows nothing about the illegal financing. Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that the Justice Department is investigating whether officials of the Democratic National Committee improperly directed contributions to Mr. Carey's campaign in exchange for the union's assistance in 1996 congressional races. The Teamsters, seeking to put Democrats back in control of Congress, contributed more than $2.5 million to Democratic campaigns. Thickening the plot, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Republican chairman of a House investigative subcommittee, announced plans to probe the charges of illegal fund-raising in the Teamsters election.
On the eve of a trial that would have opened up 40 years of internal tobacco industry records, the nation's largest cigarette companies agreed to settle Florida's lawsuit against them by paying the state $11.3 billion over 25 years. The settlement-which came three days after the chairman of the company that owns R.J. Reynolds Tobacco conceded that "smoking plays a part in causing lung cancer"-compensates the Florida state government for the costs of treating sick smokers. It also includes money damages, punishing the industry for its allegedly fraudulent statements and conduct. In addition to cash payments, the tobacco companies-Reynolds, Phillip Morris, Brown & Williamson, Lorrilard, and U.S. Tobacco Co.-agreed to remove all their advertising billboards in the state and to take steps aimed at reducing smoking by minors. The Florida settlement came seven weeks after Mississippi settled its fight with Big Tobacco for $3.3 billion. Both state agreements would be superseded if Congress OKs a $368.5 billion national settlement won by 39 state attorneys general in June.
Bill Clinton turned 51 on vacation on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts on Aug. 19. He enjoyed a clambake and birthday party put on by Hollywood friends Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson. Nevertheless, there was cause for a few more presidential gray hairs unrelated to the passage of time. While he was on vacation, Paula Jones got a court date; his vice president, it was revealed, made political fundraising phone calls on the taxpayers' dime; a former cabinet secretary was indicted; and Whitewater prosecutors gained another guilty plea from a witness who promised cooperation with the ongoing probe. "I am guilty": Speaking to a federal judge Aug. 28, those were the words of William J. Marks, business partner of Whitewater felon and former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker. Mr. Marks pleaded guilty to a fraud charge that accused him and Mr. Tucker of arranging a sham bankruptcy that saved them $2 million in taxes. Mr. Marks's plea agreement includes a pledge that he will "truthfully and fully cooperate" in the Whitewater probe. To catch Espy: A federal grand jury Aug. 27 returned a 36-count indictment against former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy. Arraignment was set for Sept. 10 in the case involving allegations Mr. Espy illegally solicited and accepted $35,000-plus in gifts from large food producers with business before his agency. One count charges the former cabinet officer with ordering a USDA employee to alter a document, requested by investigators, that showed a Tyson Foods lobbyist paid for him and his girlfriend to travel to an NFL playoff game. Don't leave home without it: White House officials acknowledged on Aug. 26 that Vice President Gore made up to 20 fundraising calls from his office without using a Democratic National Committee credit card. Mr. Gore claimed last year in a press conference that there was "no controlling legal authority" to show he did anything wrong, in part because he used a DNC credit card. Then, his staffers discovered calls on government long-distance lines. They quietly cut a check for $24.20 from the DNC to the U.S. Treasury to cover the cost of the calls. Also, The New York Times reported the number of fundraising calls Mr. Gore made from his White House office is actually twice the number previously admitted. See you in court: U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright, an appointee of President Bush and former law student of President Clinton, set jury selection for May 27 in the Paula Jones sexual harassment trial. Judge Wright tossed out two of Mrs. Jones's complaints but said the chief issues in the trial-sexual harassment and emotional distress-could go forward. The judge refused a request by the president's lawyers to limit the scope of evidence gathering. That clears the way for Mrs. Jones's lawyers to gather and present evidence of a pattern of sexual indiscretion on the part of Mr. Clinton. Judge Wright predicted the trial would last about one week. "I'm just glad it's going to proceed and go forward," Mrs. Jones said.
A word from our sponsor
What's the big deal? porno purveyor David Bryan asked last spring when parents objected to his sponsorship of a youth baseball team. Sure, he sold skin, but "once you hit X-rated, there's nothing after that," he said. "The movies have a basic plot." At the time of that interview with WORLD, the plot of this story was fairly simple if highly emotional: Mr. Bryan, who owned C&J Video in Lillian, Ala., was sponsor of a Dixie Youth baseball team. Parents of four players, including Coach Calvin Bartl, refused to allow their sons to wear a shirt advertising the store. Mr. Bryan referred to the parents as fanatics and cultists. "They think everything they do is right and everyone who doesn't agree with them will burn in hell," Mr. Bryan told the Mobile Register in April. "Who are they to judge me?" The four players and Coach Bartl purchased from the vendor jerseys to match the Barracudas', minus the store's name. The first time they showed up in generic shirts, no one objected. But at the next game, they weren't allowed to play. Most of the other parents weren't happy with the protesters and the publicity they unintentionally generated. The protesting parents took the dispute to court, and after all attempts at compromise failed, the team disbanded. But the plot has thickened. A Baldwin County grand jury has indicted Mr. Bryan, 41, on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, and first-degree sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl. Bryan, the single father of four, was released on a $50,000 bond and ordered to stay away from women younger than 18. His children-a 9-year-old son and three daughters 16 and younger-were turned over to the Department of Human Resources, Mr. Bryan's lawyer said. "Mr. Bryan only wants what is best for his children and intends to plead not guilty," his lawyer, David Thies, told the local newspaper. "He cooperated completely with the arrest process." Mr. Bartl, a minister whose son and nephew were on his roster, feels some vindication now after a few in the community derided him for his stance. The allegations against Mr. Bryan don't surprise him. "That business leads to this type of activity," he told WORLD. "Pornography always leads to that. I think it vindicates me in that pornography is detrimental to youth. It's as clear as can be." Sharon Bartl, mother of 10-year-old Matthew (who, with his cousin and two friends, are members of the Elberta Red Raiders football team), is perplexed that so many other parents don't understand their position. She still hears an occasional barb tossed her way. "Some people," she says, "... They've got blinders on."
Righting civil wrongs
After years of state-sponsored discrimination in California, a person's race and sex no longer can be considered a factor-either positive or negative-in government hiring, contracting, or educational programs. The California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) survived a federal appeals court review and took effect Aug. 28, the 34th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. As the non-discrimination law took effect, opponents of CCRI also invoked Dr. King's memory at a San Francisco protest rally. Jesse Jackson called CCRI supporters "dream-busters." But Ward Connerly, a black businessman who led the fight for CCRI, backed by 54 percent of California voters, accused Mr. Jackson of moral inconsistency: "[In the 1960s] he said it was morally wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color. Today he marches because he wants to judge people on the basis of skin color." CCRI opponents aren't giving up. They're pressing their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. In another race-preference case headed for the Supreme Court, the Clinton administration reversed course and filed a brief Aug. 22 arguing that it was wrong for a New Jersey school district to lay off a white teacher solely on the basis of race. Previously, the administration had defended the race-based layoff, in which a white teacher was fired and a black teacher kept, as a means of promoting racial diversity. Despite the shift, the administration's legal brief still argues that giving preferences to minorities in hiring and promotions is legally justifiable, even if there is no evidence of past discrimination.
Two U.S. soldiers, part of a NATO "peacekeeping" force, suffered injuries in an Aug. 28 confrontation with hundreds of angry Serbian hard-liners in Brcko, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The attack apparently came in retaliation for NATO's stepped-up role in seizing Serbian war-crimes suspects. The New York Times described the incident as "the sharpest confrontation between NATO forces and the Bosnian Serb people since the signing of the Dayton [peace] accord in 1995."
In the courts
In a legal setback for school-choice supporters, a state appeals court in Wisconsin struck down a Milwaukee plan that would have allowed 1,600 needy students to use taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private religious schools. Voting 2 to 1, the court said the program would violate the state constitution's prohibition against promoting certain religious beliefs. The ruling upholds a lower court decision made earlier this year. School-choice advocates plan an appeal to the state Supreme Court. A similar case in Ohio is headed for that state's Supreme Court. A federal appeals court upheld "Megan's Law," the New Jersey statute that allows authorities to alert neighborhood residents if a paroled sex offender moves into their area. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that giving out such information did not inflict additional punishment on paroled sex offenders who had already served their jail time.
Leaving a sinking ship?
Famine-plagued and fiscally teetering North Korea suffered another top-level political defection. The communist country's ambassador to Egypt, along with his brother and their families, sought asylum in the United States, creating a possible intelligence bonanza for the CIA. Ambassador Chang Sung-gil, the highest-ranking North Korean to bolt to the U.S., was only a month away from ending his tenure in Cairo. An American official said Mr. Chang may have feared punishment when he returned home because he had been unable to persuade Egypt to provide additional emergency food aid to North Korea. Meanwhile, religious groups in South Korea stepped up pressure on their government to increase food assistance to the North. Representatives of Christian and Buddhist organizations presented government leaders with petitions signed by 1.1 million South Koreans, asking the government to do more to help starving North Koreans. The religious groups also are helping with private relief efforts.
Pope John Paul II, in France, riled supporters of the nation's liberal abortion law by visiting the grave of his friend, pro-life geneticist Jerome Lejeune. Dr. Lejeune, who died in 1994, was widely known for discovering the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome. The ruling Socialist Party complained that the graveside visit "risks encouraging" abortion opponents, who bear "the mark of intolerance."
Washington in brief
Change of address: Dan Rostenkowski, once the feared chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, dropped quickly from a prestigious Capitol Hill address to a federal penitentiary in Wisconsin. On Aug. 19, he checked into the Salvation Army Freedom Center, a halfway house, after finishing 15 months of a 17-month sentence for mail fraud in connection with the operations of his House office. Pioneering GOP abortion crusader dies: Mary Louise Smith, who in 1976 became the first woman to organize and call to order the national convention of a major American political party, died Aug. 22 at age 82 after a battle with lung cancer. Ms. Smith was an abortion activist who chaired the Republican National Committee from 1974 to 1977. Philanthropy? Multimillionaire investor George Soros said he will contribute $15 million over the next five years to groups opposing America's war on drugs. "Our drug policy is insane," he said in an interview in last week's Time magazine. "And no politician can stand up and say what I'm saying, because it's the third rail-instant electrocution." The voucher bandwagon: A major poll released last week suggests a significant shift in opinion on private-school choice. Gallup found for the first time a majority of Americans with children in public schools support tax-funded vouchers that would give students the economic opportunity to attend private or religious schools. Support for a school-choice proposal was largest among women, blacks, other nonwhites, the young, the poor, and Southerners. People with no children in school, especially older Americans, suburban residents, and those earning $50,000 or more a year, expressed opposition.
The nation in brief
State authorities in Idaho filed new charges in the 1992 shootout at Ruby Ridge, an incident that left three people dead and created a furor over the use of force by federal agents. The charges came just before the five-year statute of limitations, which would preclude any additional criminal prosecution, was to take effect. Prosecutors charged Kevin Harris, a friend of white separatist Randy Weaver, with first-degree murder for killing a U.S. Marshal in the shootout. Meanwhile, the FBI sniper who shot and killed Mr. Weaver's wife Vicki faces a new charge of involuntary manslaughter. Agent Lon Horiuchi says he was trying to shoot Mr. Harris, but the bullet hit Mrs. Weaver instead. Mr. Harris faces the death penalty if convicted. Mr. Horiuchi could get 10 years in prison. In the largest food recall in American history, Arkansas-based Hudson Foods recalled 25 million pounds of potentially tainted hamburger. The meat, which caused at least 16 cases of food poisoning in Colorado, had been processed at a plant in Nebraska.