Sun sets on an empire
The week began with the end of colonial rule in Hong Kong as China reclaimed the prized jewel in the crown of the British empire.
Welcoming Hong Kong to the “embrace of the motherland,” Chinese President Jiang Zemin promised that its 6.3 million residents, many of whom arrived as refugees from the mainland, “shall enjoy various rights and freedoms according to law.”
At the end of an emotional farewell, Gov. Chris Patten bit his lip and bowed his head as the Hong Kong flag was lowered for the last time and presented to him, carefully folded, on a blue cushion. Then he drove off in a Rolls-Royce.
In search of the lost altar
Life really does imitate Hollywood. Archaeologist Peter Mathews of the University of Calgary told a harrowing tale of his quest for an ancient Mayan artifact and a life-threatening confrontation with angry Guatemalan Indians.
Mathews and four other archaeologists were attempting to move a Mayan altar to a museum to prevent it from being looted when he was accosted by locals protesting his actions.
More than 100 villagers beat the archaeologists up and robbed them, said Mathews, who escaped with his team by jumping into the the Usumacinte River, which forms the border between Mexico and Guatemala.
“This was not quite the result we expected when we went in there,” said Mathews, a MacArthur “genius” award winner.
Ahh … never mind
Arkansas state trooper Ronald Anderson, who guarded then-Gov. Bill Clinton, says he lied about Clinton’s reported marital infidelities.
Anderson says Arkansas lawyer Cliff Jackson, a longtime Clinton foe, had promised troopers high-paying jobs in exchange for their help in undermining Clinton.
The New Yorker magazine, quoting from an affidavit Anderson gave to Clinton’s lawyers in 1994, said Anderson confirmed stories about the president even though he knew many “were nothing more than old fish tales with little, if any, basis in fact.”
Anderson stated in the affidavit that he participated in the deception because, after the 1992 Democratic National Convention that nominated Clinton for the presidency, he thought his knowledge of candidate Clinton might prove profitable.
Jackson denied the accusations, which he called “totally false and libelous.”
On Thursday, Clinton denied Paula Jones’ claim that he had propositioned her in a hotel room in 1991 and said her claim is intended to damage him politically.
In his first formal response to the charges in Jones’ federal sexual harassment lawsuit, Clinton said he does not recall ever meeting her and denied “each and every allegation” set forth in her complaint.
“The president adamantly denies the false allegations advanced in the complaint,” said the response filed by Clinton’s lawyers. “At no time did the president make sexual advances toward the plaintiff or otherwise act improperly in her presence.”
The city of Spokane finally coughed up $1.43 million to the Marks family.
The out-of-court settlement ends a bitter civil rights lawsuit over police searches of Gypsy homes 11 years ago.
“This settlement puts an end to one of the longest drawn-out legal battles ever faced by the city,” Mayor Jack Geraghty said Tuesday.
The mayor emphasized the city isn’t admitting any wrongdoing or apologizing for its actions.
“The way this settlement is crafted, we don’t feel that the police officers involved, in effect, wronged the Marks family,” Geraghty said.
“The apology is the check,” said Gypsy leader Jimmy Marks, who drove off in a late-model Mercedes.
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