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It’s Just Another Attempt To Railroad A Presidency

When word got to Vice President Al Gore that some American citizens were concerned about saving the Texas Eagle, he was understandably moved.

“Thank you for your letter regarding the protection of the Texas Eagle,” Gore wrote to one citizen. “I share your view that the urgent problem of species extinction and the conservation of biological diversity should be addressed…. All animals and plants help make our natural surroundings more diverse and should be protected to ensure the preservation of a healthy environment.”

There was just one problem. The citizen was referring to Amtrak’s Texas Eagle, the Chicago-to-San Antonio passenger line. Or so reports the newsletter of the National Association of Railroad Passengers.

Loose talk

Juliette Binoche on winning her Best Supporting Actress Oscar over heavy favorite Lauren Bacall: “I don’t know why I got this. It’s not my fault.”

She gave new meaning to the term, ‘Don’t speak!’

Dianne Wiest turns 49 today.

Put that to music and her hubby will have another hit

We’ve announced that country star Tracy Lawrence, 29, has wed Stephanie Drew, 27. We’ve also announced that Lawrence has cut his hair and shaved his mustache. But we haven’t printed Drew’s farewell to her former job as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. “I’ll miss the girls,” she said, “I’ll miss 60,000 people cheering. But it’s time to move on.”

Del Toro joins the usual suspects of Madonna suitors

Word from the Madonna watch is that the Material One is having a fling with Benicio Del Toro, the “Usual Suspects” actor who won an Independent Spirit Award for his role in the film “Basquiat.”

She knows the proper way to present a summons

Martha Stewart’s daughter, Alexis Stewart, 31, is bringing charges against former boyfriend Seamus Mahoney, 38, who she claims assaulted her Dec. 26. The younger Stewart claims that the Suffolk County, N.Y., prosecutor wanted her to accept a plea bargain. In the prosecutor’s view, there were no witnesses and the case likely will do nothing more than embarrass Stewart the elder.

Our advice to Duchovny: Take Tea and see

Tea Leoni, who has been spending steady time with “X-Files” star David Duchovny, has been declared an undesirable presence on the show’s set by co-star Gillian Anderson. According to one report, Anderson considers Leoni a “distraction.”

Our suggestion: Bring back Rob Lowe

The viewing audience for Monday’s 69th annual Academy Awards, dominated by Anthony Minghella’s “The English Patient,” was the lowest in a decade. The show drew a 27.4 rating (each point represents 970,000 households), which amounted to a 46 percent share of the sets in use. Last year’s show earned a 30.3 rating and 50 percent share.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Photos

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by staff writer Dan Webster