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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Nation in brief: Pentagon to decide on contract rebid

The Spokesman-Review

The Pentagon is expected to announce today whether the Air Force will rebid a $35 billion contract to build new refueling tankers.

Several lawmakers have been told the agency will decide how to move forward after a government report found major flaws in the decision to award the lucrative contract to Northrop Grumman and its European partner over Boeing Co.

Two congressional staffers said Air Force officials began informing lawmakers Tuesday afternoon of the pending announcement.

Last month, a Government Accountability Office report said Boeing might have won the contract if the Air Force had not made mistakes in evaluating the competing bids. The GAO recommended the service hold a new competition.

White Plains, N.Y.

Infirm parents left in sweltering car

A man who police say left his elderly, infirm parents in a sweltering car while he drove a bus route for three hours was charged with reckless endangerment Tuesday. His father died, but his mother made it out of the vehicle.

Theodore Pressman left his parents in his black Suzuki in a Peekskill parking lot Monday, as outdoor temperatures reached the mid-80s, police said. The car was in full sun with its windows closed and temperatures inside reached well over 100 degrees, they said.

At an appearance in Peekskill City Court, Pressman, looking frail himself, was held on $10,000 bail and was ordered to stay away from his mother.

Peekskill police Detective Sgt. Eric Johansen said there was no indication that Pressman intended to harm his parents. The three lived together in Beacon, about 15 miles north of Peekskill and 45 miles north of New York City.

Johansen said a check of neighboring police departments showed that Pressman had often left his parents “at restaurants, delis, McDonald’s” while he worked as a bus driver.


Judge throws out defamation lawsuit

A federal judge has thrown out former California Congressman Gary Condit’s defamation lawsuit against author Dominick Dunne, extending the one-time lawmaker’s costly courtroom losing streak.

In a 22-page opinion issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Peter Leisure summarily dismissed Condit’s suit and ruled the First Amendment as well as California law protected Dunne’s expressions of opinion. The ruling further shrinks Condit’s legal maneuvering room.

Condit’s lawsuit revolved around public speculations about the nature of his relationship with former Washington, D.C., intern Chandra Levy, who vanished in 2001 and whose disappearance drew fevered national attention. He and his wife, Carolyn, have filed roughly a half-dozen related defamation lawsuits since then.

None of the lawsuits have gone to trial. Several were settled privately, while others were dismissed outright.

Levy’s remains were found in Washington’s Rock Creek Park in 2002. Her murder has never been solved and police have not formally identified any suspect.