A divided GOP
Rep. Bill Paxon, R-N.Y., perished in a failed coup d’etat against House Speaker Newt Gingrich last week.
One of the fastest-rising stars on the Republican side of the House, Paxon met his political demise after apparently participating in an effort to organize Gingrich’s ouster.
Paxon is survived by alleged fellow conspirators Dick Armey, John Boehner and Tom Delay, whose political heads may yet roll.
“They give us all this stuff all the time about teamwork, and they’re out to gut the speaker,” said Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill.
Gingrich’s relations with Majority Leader Armey and other members of the leadership were frayed several weeks ago when the GOP was forced to surrender in a veto struggle with President Clinton over disaster-aid legislation.
The money trail
The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, investigating campaign fund-raising abuses, produced its first direct evidence of a foreign political contribution Tuesday - $50,000 that John Huang managed to finagle out of an Indonesian conglomerate he used to work for.
A Huang memo produced during the second week of Senate hearings said “please kindly wire” money to cover several expenses, including the donation.
“It certainly looks like the movement of foreign money into an American campaign in 1992,” one Democrat, Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, said of the $50,000.
A murder in Miami
Haute couture mourned the death of Gianni Versace, who was gunned down by an alleged serial killer on the front steps of his Miami Beach villa Tuesday.
Police were searching for Andrew P. Cunanan, 27, a former San Diego resident, who is believed to have shot Versace, execution style, as the 50-year-old Italian-born fashion designer was returning from a nearby cafe.
“Cunanan is known to be a male prostitute who services an affluent clientele,” said Miami Beach police chief Richard Barreto.
Cunanan also is being sought in the May slaying of a Minneapolis architect who had once been his lover and in the killings of another former boyfriend in the Minneapolis area and a Chicago businessman.
A killing on Wall Street
As if things weren’t hot enough on Wall Street already, the Dow Jones industrial average boiled over 8,000 Wednesday for the first time ever.
Passing the milestone marked an amazing performance by the grandparent of all stock averages, given a spring slump that cost the Dow nearly 10 percent of its value. With Wednesday’s gain of 63 points, the Dow, which closed at 8,038.88, is up more than 25 percent from its low point in April, and nearly that much for the year as a whole.
The credit for the latest 1,000-point surge goes to a market environment that is right out of a fairy tale: the so-called “Goldilocks” economy - not too hot to spark inflation, not so cold as to jeopardize company earnings.
Lost in space
As if things weren’t bad enough on the Mir, somebody pulled the wrong plug Thursday, shutting down most of the space station’s already disabled power system.
The mistake sent the Mir askew and on a dark, twisting ride through space for hours, initially cut off from contact with Earth. Its crew was forced to use the Soyuz escape capsule to steer the station until they could begin to unravel the foul-up.
Besides raising new concerns about the Mir and its overworked crew, the latest in a growing list of setbacks for the outdated space station forced another postponement in vital repairs needed on a damaged module.
Both the practice session and the fix-it spacewalk itself, which had been scheduled for Thursday, now will be bumped back for an indefinite period, Russian mission control said.
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