- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 12, 2000

Judge delays hearing in Clinton disbarment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. A judge has pushed back a deadline in President Clinton's disbarment case, meaning the case won't be heard until the end of the year and likely not until Mr. Clinton is out of office.

The bid to strip Mr. Clinton of his law license, filed by the state Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct, is based on Mr. Clinton's testimony about his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Leon Johnson, in an order released yesterday, gave lawyers for both sides an additional month to respond to requests for admissions submitted Nov. 9, setting the new deadline at Jan. 11. Mr. Clinton leaves office Jan. 20.

The lawyers in the case could not be reached last night and did not immediately return messages left at their offices and homes seeking comment. Both sides had requested the delay.

Mississippi flag panel to submit redesign

JACKSON, Miss. A flag commission will decide today whether to strip the Confederate battle symbol from the state flag and replace it with several white stars.

Black leaders want the 106-year-old banner scrapped and consider it a reminder of racism in the the state's past.

"Over the Capitol, we need to include a million black citizens who are disenfranchised with the flag now," said Fran Ivy, a key designer of the new banner.

Greg Stewart, a lawyer and member of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, said the existing flag is state history, not a symbol of hate, and called the new design "a definite loser."

The commission is expected to ask the Legislature to put the flag issue and its design to voters after it convenes in January.

Endeavour lands after successful flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Space shuttle Endeavour and its crew of five returned to Earth in triumph yesterday, ending NASA's most difficult space station construction mission yet.

Throughout the afternoon, Mission Control had worried that clouds or rain might delay Endeavour's homecoming. But the weather cooperated, and the shuttle hit land just after sunset, right on time.

The international space station, Alpha, and its gleaming solar wings soared over Florida four minutes before Endeavour's touchdown, clearly visible from Cape Canaveral as it streaked through the dark sky.

"Outstanding job. Welcome back," Mission Control told Endeavour commander Brent Jett Jr. once the shuttle came to a safe stop on the illuminated runway.

Drug charges lodged against Downey

LOS ANGELES Felony drug charges were filed yesterday against actor Robert Downey Jr. stemming from his arrest last month at a hotel in Palm Springs.

Riverside County prosecutors charged Downey with felony possession of cocaine, felony possession of the prescription drug diazepam and a misdemeanor count of being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Each felony count carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison, and the misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail. In addition, Mr. Downey could face an extra year in prison as a result of having served time on a previous felony drug conviction.

The 35-year-old performer was arrested Nov. 25 by Palm Springs police responding to an anonymous telephone tip from a caller who claimed there were guns and cocaine in the hotel room where Mr. Downey was staying.

Bush cousin talks about Election Night

NEW YORK The head of Fox's projection team said he spoke five times with his cousin, George W. Bush, on Election Night but insists he did not give out confidential exit poll information.

Mr. Bush got that information elsewhere, he said.

John Ellis, an Election Night consultant for Fox, was hired by Inside.com to write an account of what happened that night. It was posted on the Web site yesterday. Mr. Ellis is becoming a regular columnist for the on-line publication's new magazine, Inside.

Publicity about his ties to Mr. Bush has embarrassed Fox. The network is still investigating whether Mr. Ellis gave the Bush campaign inside data.

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