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Condit blasts editorials calling for resignation



Published: Mon, August 13, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Condit blasts editorialscalling for resignation

MODESTO, Calif. -- U.S. Rep. Gary Condit criticized the major daily newspapers in his congressional district, saying editorials that called for his resignation were "unfair."

Condit's statement was the first public comment concerning the case of Chandra Levy since he reportedly acknowledged an affair with the missing intern.

The editorial pages of The Modesto Bee and The Fresno Bee, two newspapers in California's Central Valley, demanded Sunday that Condit resign, not because of any marital indiscretions, but because he had violated the public's trust.

The Modesto Bee editorial, put on the newspaper's front page, called Condit's conduct during the search for Levy as "abhorrent."

"It is terribly unfair and disappointing that the Bee would have come to any decision about me without first allowing the investigation to continue and hearing what I have to say," Condit said, adding that his "30 years in public service should have earned me that much consideration."

Levy, 24, disappeared May 1 in Washington, D.C. The congressman confirmed he had an affair with Levy during a third interview with police, according to a police source. Police have said Condit is not a suspect in her disappearance.

New space station crewmoves into outpost

SPACE CENTER, Houston -- It was moving-in day for the new crew of the international space station.

After arriving at space station Alpha over the weekend, the incoming three member crew was to swap places with the outgoing one today.

The replacement crew of U.S. astronaut Frank Culbertson and Russian cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin was ferried to Alpha aboard space shuttle Discovery, which arrived at the orbiting outpost Sunday afternoon.

The shuttle will be the ride back to Earth for the current station crew, which has been on Alpha since March. The new crew will stay in Alpha until December.

The linkup between Discovery and Alpha had a slight problem as the docking ring that draws them together was misaligned because of a stuck shock absorber. But shuttle astronauts quickly solved the problem.

After hatches between the two spacecraft were opened two hours later, the seven astronauts and cosmonauts aboard Discovery floated into Alpha's Destiny laboratory and greeted the station's crew with hugs and smiles.

"Hey how you doing? You ready for visitors?" asked space shuttle commander Scott Horowitz, extending his right hand to space station commander Yuri Usachev.

Legislator's gifts makeopponent hopping mad

DARWIN, Australia -- A state lawmaker in northern Australia has been accused of offering bribes to Aborigines in an effort to get them to vote for him.

The bribes? Kangaroo tails.

John Elferink is campaigning in a remote desert electorate to retain his seat in the Northern Territory Parliament at elections on Saturday.

Elferink maintains he rarely went empty-handed when he visited his constituents in remote Aboriginal communities even before the Aug. 18 election was called.

His Country Liberal Party has bought 200 of the kangaroo tails, which Elferink says retail for about $2.50 each at his local butcher.

Labor candidate Harold Furber accused Elferink of making Aborigines feel obliged to vote for him by taking the tails -- a local delicacy.

Northern Territory Chief Electoral Officer Barrie Hamilton said he would have to seek legal advice if an official complaint was made.

"My position is a bit vague at the moment," Hamilton said. "To my mind it is in the same category as people in suburban areas holding [barbecues] to meet the candidate and that area is very gray."

4 killed in collision

SAYREVILLE, N.J. -- A fiery, head-on collision between sport utility vehicles killed four people early Sunday.

The accident happened shortly before 3:30 a.m., when one sport utility vehicle heading north on the Garden State Parkway crossed the center median into the southbound lanes and struck another SUV head on, police said.

The two men in the sport utility vehicle that crossed the median were returning from a trip to Atlantic City, police said. Investigators were trying to determine why the vehicle, driven by Eric Matatov, 29, of Fresh Meadows, N.Y., crossed into oncoming traffic. Matatov was one of the four killed.

New Jersey State Police Sgt. Mark Ridge said investigators were looking at driver fatigue as a possible cause. He said Matatov appeared to have been driving 80 to 100 mph.

Associated Press




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