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

SUNDAY, FEB. 15, 1998


Not-so-Secret Service

Former uniformed Secret Service officer Lewis C. Fox said in an interview Tuesday that White House intern Monica Lewinsky spent at least 40 minutes alone with President Clinton while Fox was posted outside the Oval Office door on a weekend afternoon in late 1995.

Fox is the first person to come forward publicly and claim that he saw the president and Lewinsky alone together.

Clinton testified last month that he does not recall ever being alone with Lewinsky, either while she was employed at the White House or later at the Pentagon, except perhaps on very brief occasions when she dropped off papers in his office, according to Washington Post sources familiar with Clinton’s testimony.

Meanwhile, independent counsel Kenneth Starr made Monica Lewinsky’s mother cry last week.

Marcia Lewis gave three days of testimony before a grand jury grilling during which, her lawyer claimed, she was forced to “testify against” her daughter.

Babbitt joins the club

The Clinton administration’s legal problems continued last week when Attorney General Janet Reno asked for an independent counsel to investigate whether Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt misled Congress about an Indian casino dispute.

If a special three-judge panel grants the request, as expected, the probe would be the first by a special prosecutor that touches on any aspect of Democratic fund-raising practices in the 1996 election.

Three other independent counsel inquiries are already examining administration figures. Starr is investigating Whitewater, the Monica Lewinsky case and other matters, and other outside prosecutors are investigating former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros.


Culture crash

In the most detailed look yet at crashes between cars and light trucks, researchers said last week that people in the auto were four times more likely to die than those in the pickup or sports utility vehicle. The numbers are even grimmer when a light truck strikes the side of a car.

The study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that when pickups or sport utility vehicles strike cars on the side, there are 27 deaths in cars for each fatality in a pickup or sport utility.

By comparison, when a car hits another auto in the side there are six deaths in the car being hit for every one in the striking vehicle.

“While you gain some benefit from being in a pickup truck or utility vehicle in two-vehicle crashes, the consequences for the occupants of other vehicles are very dramatic and very bad,” said Brian O’Neill, president of the institute. “That’s a problem.”

Water hazard

Moving to implement a key element of the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed regulations that would require water companies to tell consumers at least once a year where their tap water comes from, the chemicals and bacteria that are in it and the potential health hazards of the contaminants.

The EPA’s action Wednesday is unrelated to the current focus on the potential risk that chemicals in tap water may pose to pregnant women. A study by California state researchers has suggested a possible link between chlorinated tap water and first-trimester miscarriages.


Change in course

Casey Martin won the right to use a cart in professional golf tournaments Wednesday, becoming the first professional athlete to successfully sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act for a change in a sports organization’s playing rules.

The tale of this unassuming young golfer who overcame adversity to achieve athletic recognition, only to be stopped at the PGA Tour’s gate, ignited a debate over a disabled person’s right to accommodation versus a private sports organization’s ability to set rules of competition.

Olympic gold

The Olympic Games collided with the letter of the law here Thursday, and the winner was Ross Rebagliati, the 26-year-old Canadian snowboarder who claimed his sport’s first gold medal Sunday, then lost it when he tested positive for marijuana, then quickly gained it back when an arbitration board ruled that no one - not even the International Olympic Committee - had the right to take it away from him.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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


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