Judge dismisses charges in Olympic corruption

Friday, November 16, 2001

SALT LAKE CITY -- The two-year-old bribery case that tainted Salt Lake City's upcoming Winter Olympics was thrown out Thursday by a federal court judge.

U.S. District Judge David Sam's ruling dismissed the remaining 10 fraud counts and one conspiracy charge federal prosecutors filed against Salt Lake City bid leaders Tom Welch and Dave Johnson.

Sam dismissed four bribery counts in July.

Federal prosecutors elected to pursue the remaining charges, but the case has dropped in priority since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Welch and Johnson were accused of using $1 million to endear Salt Lake City to International Olympic Committee officials. The alleged enticements included college scholarships for IOC members' relatives, guns, medical care, travel and other perks.

French lawmakers to end system of 'secret funds'

PARIS -- France's National Assembly has voted to end a system of secret cash bonuses for Cabinet members, a decades-old practice that drew attention after President Jacques Chirac paid for luxury trips with the money.

The proposal, approved late Wednesday night in the lower house of parliament, now goes to the Senate.

Under the system of so-called secret funds, millions of dollars are earmarked each year to be used at the prime minister's discretion to cover costs associated with France's secret services and to provide bonuses for ministers and their staff. There is no official oversight of the money, which is paid out in cash and is not taxable.

Under the new budget amendments, funds will remain available for bonuses, but money paid out will be marked on pay slips and subject to taxation.

Grand jury subpoenas papers from Rep. Condit

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Gary Condit has received a grand jury subpoena for undisclosed documents related to the disappearance of federal intern Chandra Levy, his lawyer said Thursday.

The disclosure is the first public indication in months that the investigation of Levy's May 1 disappearance remains active.

Condit, D-Calif., provided the first word of the subpoena, from the District of Columbia Superior Court, in a communication read by a clerk Thursday morning on the House floor. Members are required to report when they receive subpoenas. Condit said he was considering whether to comply.

Homes evacuated, two die in fiery train crash

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Two freight trains crashed head-on on Thursday near Detroit, killing two men, injuring two others and forcing the evacuation of nearby homes and schools.

The evacuation order was lifted about five hours after the fiery wreck when authorities determined that cars containing chemicals had not leaked. About 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled.

Investigators were looking into whether there was a malfunction at a nearby switching yard or whether severe weather the night before may have played a role in the crash, said Oakland County Undersheriff Thomas Quisenberry.

"It's amazing how many cars did not get upset or derailed," he said. The wreck occurred at 5:55 a.m. about 25 miles northwest of Detroit, on a track operated by Grand Trunk, a subsidiary of Canadian National railroad.

-- From wire reports

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