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Police probe report of dumped watch box



Published: Sat, July 21, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Police probe reportof dumped watch box

WASHINGTON -- Troubles mounted Friday for Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., after new reports that he may have tried to impede the Chandra Levy investigation.

Authorities are investigating whether Condit attempted to obstruct justice by dumping a watch box into a trash bin in nearby Northern Virginia just hours before police searched his Washington condominium last week.

The box was traced to another woman who had given Condit a watch as a gift, according to CNN and Fox News. Police were alerted when someone recognized Condit from the intense media coverage of Levy's disappearance.

"It's something we would logically be concerned about," said Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office. "In any investigation being conducted, if there's an allegation a person is trying to get rid of evidence that's something we want to pursue further. There may be an innocent explanation, but sometimes there's not."

Federal officials already are looking into whether Condit tried to obstruct justice when his attorney asked a flight attendant who claims to have had an affair with Condit to sign an affidavit saying the two never had a relationship.

Judge rules universitycan proceed with play

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- A federal judge Friday refused to block a state-supported university from staging performances of a play with a gay Christ-like character.

A group of local residents and state lawmakers had filed a lawsuit seeking to prohibit Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne from putting on Terrence McNally's "Corpus Christi" at a school theater.

They argued that taxpayer money should not be used to help subsidize a production that attacks religion.

U.S. District Judge William C. Lee ruled the plaintiffs failed to show how the production would violate the separation of church and state.

"It's nice because now we can continue with what we're doing without this hanging over our heads," said the play's director, senior Jonathan Gilbert. "If they had won you could walk into that any museum in Indiana and say that painting offends me, take it down."

John Price, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said he would talk to his clients about a possible appeal.

Clinton PAC raises$662,325 in 6 months

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Rodham Clinton's political action committee raised $662,325 in its first six months, catapulting the freshman senator into the top tier of fund-raisers in the U.S. Senate.

HILLPAC handed out $100,000 in contributions to other lawmakers from Montana to Georgia, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission. Among HILLPAC's largest donations was $10,000 to the legal defense fund of embattled Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J.

Campaign finance experts called Clinton's haul impressive, without being so large as to raise eyebrows.

"A garden variety junior senator, newly elected, would have some real trouble raising that kind of money." Washington D.C.-based election lawyer Kenneth Gross said. "She's among the top."

The PAC allows New York's junior senator to contribute to other federal candidates, pay for her political travel across the country and boost her stature with party leaders. There is also been some speculation that it could help her win allies for a run for president. Clinton has said she will serve out her six-year term in the Senate.

Historic map purchased

WASHINGTON -- The first map to use the name America is coming to the Library of Congress. It is buying the 494-year-old chart for $10 million.

"This map, giving our hemisphere its name for the first time, will be the crown jewel of the library's already unparalleled collection of maps an atlases," said James Billington, librarian of Congress.

Sometimes called America's birth certificate, it's the only known copy of a map that historians say caused the hemisphere to be named for explorer Amerigo Vespucci instead of Columbus.

It was also the first map to depict a separate western hemisphere and a separate Pacific Ocean.

The library said a $500,000 down payment has been made to the owner, German Prince Johannes Waldburg-Wolfegg, in whose south German castle it was found in 1901. Historians had long thought it had been lost.

The library has tried to get the map for decades, and permission has now been given by both the government of Germany and the state of Baden-Wuertenberg.

It will be on permanent display in the library's Thomas Jefferson Building. It has already arrived, but a date for showing it has not been set, the library said. It consists of 12 separate sheets, which, when put together, cover 36 square feet.

Associated Press




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