News & Reviews

"News & Reviews" Continued...

Issue: "Fleeing Hurricane Floyd," Sept. 25, 1999
  • Charles Jarvis, former executive vice president of Focus on the Family, last week stepped down as national campaign chairman of Gary Bauer's presidential campaign and endorsed Steve Forbes. While Mr. Jarvis said he was proud of the Bauer campaign's efforts, he believes the Republican contest is now a two-man race between George W. Bush and Mr. Forbes. "Steve Forbes is the only conservative who can win and it is time for all conservatives to rally behind him," he said.
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich reached a divorce agreement with soon-to-be-ex-wife Marianne, sparing himself further embarrassment by keeping out of court details of his affair with a 35-year-old congressional aide. The deal splits up the couple's assets and avoids a potentially nasty public trial. Both Gingriches had floated accusations that the other was too grabby. Mr. Gingrich's attorney, Randy Evans, says the agreement "gives them both support to live off of."
  • Is it kosher for a public high school to close for the Jewish high holy days? The ACLU says no, so it's suing a suburban Cincinnati school district. The liberal litigation group claims schools may close on religious holidays only for "neutral" reasons. The Sycamore School District says the school closes on those holidays because 15 percent of students are absent on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
  • Traditional chalkboards are going the way of the inkwell in American classrooms. The Association of School Business Officials International says teachers are overwhelmingly demanding the white marker boards. Chalk dust mucks up computers and aggravates allergies and asthma, teachers say; bright marker colors better hold children's short attention spans.
  • Divorced? Had an abortion or two? If a new rules change takes effect, next year that won't stop you from becoming Miss America. For decades, the pageant accepted only contestants who had never been married and never been pregnant. New Jersey's anti-discrimination laws killed the policy, as the pageant's board voted in a more liberal policy to hold off lawsuits. State pageant officials in the Miss America system protested and succeeded in persuading board president Robert Beck to relent-for the moment. The rules change is on hold while the board hears from opponents. "It's acceptable in today's society, but no one could argue that an unwanted pregnancy or an abortion is an ideal," said Leonard Horn, who headed the Miss America pageant in 1997 and 1998. 2nd dragging death trial opens
    It was a rush
    Lawrence Russell Brewer not only helped drag James Byrd Jr. to his death along a bumpy Texas road, leaving his mangled torso behind, but he enjoyed doing it and would like to do it again. That's the way prosecutors portrayed the 32-year-old white supremacist, quoting from one of his jailhouse letters, in opening statements as Mr. Brewer's murder trial opened last week. "It was a rush and I'm still licking my lips for more," he wrote to another inmate at the Jasper County Jail; his defense contended the letter was about sex. Mr. Brewer, one of three charged in the June 1998 murder, could get the death penalty if convicted. The first of the trio to be tried, John William King, was sentenced to death in February. Starr "leak" prosecution closed
    Ken in the clear
    Ken Starr won't go to jail for investigating Bill Clinton's crimes. That's the word from a three-judge panel made up of Carter, Reagan, and Bush appointees. The federal appeals panel tossed out a ruling that Mr. Starr's office's alleged news leaks are subject to prosecution. Mr. Clinton's counsel plans to appeal, claiming the special prosecutor violated grand jury secrecy by feeding information to The New York Times. Mr. Starr's spokesmen said the case is a presidential diversion. Mr. Starr himself plans to resign before his office finishes its work, but the investigations will go on. Attorney General Janet Reno said that a special court-the three-judge appeals court panel-has authority to appoint his successor.

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