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Week In Review A Look Back At The Top Stories Form The Last Week

Sun., July 13, 1997

SPORTS

No teeth

The Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously last week to revoke Mike Tyson’s boxing license and fined him $3 million for biting Evander Holyfield in the June 28 heavyweight title bout.

The commission’s action will shut down Tyson’s hugely profitable career for a minimum of one year - until at least July 1998.

Given his recent one-fight-every-nine-months schedule, Tyson may miss only one fight that he might otherwise have undertaken.

“They had to do something to appease the world,” said Tyson’s attorney, Oscar Goodman, “the lynch-mob atmosphere, the bloodthirstiness on the part of the public.”

WORLD

A new revolution

The days of Mexico’s imperial presidency may be over as election returns showed voters denying the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, its majority in Congress for the first time in seven decades.

To Mexicans, long used to an all-powerful presidency and an obedient, rubber-stamp legislature, the notion that a president may not be able to control congress is stunning.

No one is predicting sweeping changes in Mexico’s economic or political policies. But the opposition could influence budget decisions and perhaps pull back the curtain on alleged multimillion-dollar corruption in PRI governments.

SCIENCE

Food for thought

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic have identified 24 women who developed damaged heart valves after taking the the wildly popular weight-loss drug combination known as fen-phen.

Though the Mayo Clinic analysis does not prove that fen-phen caused the heart valve damage in the patients studied, the findings prompted the Food and Drug Administration to warn doctors “because of the seriousness of the cardiac problems and their rare occurrence in otherwise healthy obese women.”

Fenfluramine and phentermine, the drugs in the fen-phen combination, have been approved by the FDA for weight-loss applications. But the agency has not approved the combination, chiefly because too few studies have been done on fen-phen’s safety and effectiveness. The drug company Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, maker of fenfluramine, said the new study was “inconclusive” and that further studies “must be conducted before any possible link” to heart valve damage can be confirmed.

But the authors of the study said the problem is otherwise so uncommon in middle-aged women that the link to the drug combination “is not likely to be due to chance.”

Someplace like home

Scientists could barely contain themselves over the overwhelming success of Sojourner, the first mobile explorer of another planet, as it continued prospecting the soil and rocks of Mars.

What scientists are learning is that the planet closest to the Earth in its surface conditions and history, is even more Earth-like than they had imagined.

A chemical analysis of a rock called Barnacle Bill - the first analysis of a rock on Mars - shows that it contains quartz, a silicon-rich mineral never before seen in significant amounts in rocks from anywhere but Earth.

To create quartz, said geologist Hap McSween of the Mars Pathfinder team, you need a process called differentiation that causes different minerals to separate out from each other in the rock.

That means, McSween said, “you’ve got to have a heat source that lasts for a long time,” implying that Mars had “a more complex geological history” - more like Earth’s - than thought.

SPOKANE

Let ‘em walk

More than 60 American cities have put bicycles on the streets as free alternative transportation for anyone’s use.

It works in Portland, Missoula, Madison, Wis., and Boulder, Colo.

So what happens when Spokane puts 50 “Lilac Bikes” on the streets?

“A lot of them have been ‘acquired’ by people,” said Lilac Bicycle Program coordinator Gerald Schuldt.

At least four have been acquired by the banks of the Spokane River, their wrecked frames visible from the Monroe Street Bridge.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 photos

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by News Editor Kevin Graman from staff and wire reports.


 
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