This Week

Issue: "Putting Kyoto on ice," Aug. 8, 1998

Hoping against hope

Some people played hooky from work to get an 80.1 million-to-1 chance at a slice of the Powerball jackpot that swelled last week to $250 million. Greedy pursuit of a winning ticket in the multistate lottery sparked large traffic jams and even caused some Powerball computers to crash. In Connecticut, state troopers were stationed to keep order in lines of 500 people waiting up to 10 hours. At one Greenwich exit near the state line, more than 150 people left their cars on the highway shoulder and grass to walk to a rest area lottery outlet. The state lottery commission reported that computers were handling more than 15,000 wagers a minute. Twenty states and the District of Columbia sell Powerball tickets, but because of its proximity to New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, Connecticut Powerball outlets led the nation in sales for the first two days of the week: more than $14 million. "I wonder if government feels really proud of itself watching people lining up and losing money," commented Methodist minister Tom Grey, executive director of the National Coalition against Gambling Expansion.

The interests of others

WORLD readers may remember this photo from our recent cover story on House Majority Whip Tom DeLay. In the background, as he was so often, is Capitol Hill policeman John Gibson. Mr. Gibson, along with fellow officer Jacob Chestnut, was fatally shot last week when Russell Weston tried to smuggle a gun into the Capitol. He was headed to Mr. DeLay's office. A DeLay staffer said the photo was "a sad reminder of how fleeting life can be, and yet perhaps symbolic of how much Gibson meant to DeLay and the rest of us." In a statement for WORLD, the whip's office called Mr. Gibson "a man of quiet dignity, integrity, and resolve." Citing the Apostle Paul's words in Philippians 2-"Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others"-the statement concluded that "John Gibson's life and final sacrifice personified this ethic and we are all humbly and eternally indebted to him."

Upscale binging

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Abercrombie & Fitch added some relevance to its latest catalog. The national retailer spiced up its usual round of preppy fashions with drinking games and recipes for hard-core cocktails like the "Woo-Woo" and the "Brain Hemorrhage." The two-page feature gave directions for "creative drinking" that students could substitute for the "standard beer binge." The head of Mothers Against Drunk Driving hit the roof, asking the company to apologize. "This catalog is an abomination," said MADD President Karolyn Nunnallee. Now the company admits it went too far. A&F spokesman Lonnie Fogel says the piece, titled "Drinking 101," should have been more balanced. He said the catalog "aims to be a chronicler of the American college experience today" and that experience, at least for some, includes alcohol.

Medium-range threat

Iran last week tested its first medium-range ballistic missile. Shehab-3, made from a North Korean design, could successfully reach U.S. allies, including Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, or Egypt. One week prior to the test, a bipartisan panel told Congress that ballistic missiles from rogue nations could strike the United States "with little or no warning." The commission, headed by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, cited North Korean-developed missiles in particular, which it said could travel over 6,000 miles, and reach as far inland as Wisconsin. Iranian missiles with similar range could reach Pennsylvania. The panel also cited an "erosion" of U.S. detection capabilities. It said North Korea, Iran and other countries are concealing their ballistic missile programs from U.S. spy satellites by using enormous underground laboratories and factories to build and test the weapons. Iran's test once again pitted arms-control advocates against conservatives who want to construct a national missile-defense system. Which prompted The Wall Street Journal to editorialize: "Is anyone seriously going to propose that the way to keep more Iranian Shehab-3s from being produced is to invite the ayatollahs for a stay at Geneva's finest hotels and a long meeting of the minds across a green baize table?"

World in brief

No school, no children
The death toll from three tidal waves that destroyed Papua New Guinea's northwest coast stood at nearly 2,500 ten days after the tsunami struck; the exact number may never be known. Rescuers also worked to seal off a corpse-clogged lagoon and mangrove swamps that had become badly contaminated by decomposing bodies. Indonesian fishermen said they located about 200 bodies floating near nearby Irian Jaya. One mission worker told villagers there would be no school, because "there are no children." Kosovo toll
UN officials say fighting in Kosovo has displaced 107,000 persons. The fighting began last February after four Serb policemen were shot dead. At that time, Albanians outnumbered Serbs 9-1 in the region, which has been dominated by the Serb government. Hussein has cancer
King Hussein of Jordan, the longest-ruling head of state in the Middle East, announced he is receiving treatment for cancer. The 62-year-old leader confirmed a much-rumored diagnosis July 28 in an interview with Jordan Television. He said the cancer, which appears to be lymphatic, could be cured; he underwent surgery for the disease in 1992. "I'm not over and done with," he said. But Jordanians will increasingly look to the king's younger brother, 51-year-old Crown Prince Hassan, for leadership while the king seeks treatment in the United States. Prince Hassan, who has taken on increasing diplomatic tasks in recent years, is considered more intellectual and less charismatic than his older brother. Biker strikers
Bicyclists halted racing along the Tour de France course to protest drug testing by event officials. Early on, the tour's top-ranked team, Festina, was expelled from the Tour for using a hormone drug. A Dutch team, TVM, was questioned about supplying the drug, and police took some of its members for testing. Police also seized suspect medication belonging to a third team at a French-Swiss border crossing. The bicyclists, who forced cancellation of one stage of the Tour de France, said they could not race under the cloud of suspicion. "We will restart when we have some guarantees from the police that we would be treated well," race leader Marco Pantani said.
"We want to be treated like athletes and not as delinquents." Cambodian vote fraud?
After July 26 polling, Cambodians proudly displayed fingers covered with indelible ink. In the first elections since last year's coup by Cambodian People's Party leaders, however, that flush of pride changed to anger and charges of vote fraud. Party leader Hun Sen remained the controversial front-runner, taking 67 out of 122 parliamentary seats. Opposition leaders Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Sam Rainsy said they would boycott a newly elected parliament unless investigations into voting fraud were launched. Observers from the European Union called the election "credible and acceptable," but the U.S. State Department said allegations of fraud and intimidation should be investigated. Five murders and seven attempted murders in the week prior to the poll have been linked to the Cambodian People's Party. Human Rights Watch said opposition parties were denied access to television and prohibited from campaigning in some areas.

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