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News Briefs II

Morris Book Deal Near $3 Million


Since resigning from President Clinton's re-election campaign late last week, strategist Dick Morris has reached out to the news media he once avoided in a bid to bounce back from the sex scandal that knocked him from the heights of power.

Almost immediately after published reports of Morris' involvement with a Washington, D.C., call girl prompted his exit, he offered himself for an interview with Time, which has put him on the cover for the second consecutive week. He was speaking, too, about wanting to work as a political commentator and will be a featured guest at a breakfast with other New York media figures that The New Yorker has scheduled for next week.

But the most striking evidence that Morris hopes to rebound, not retreat in embarrassment, was an announcement Wednesday night that Random House has signed him to write a book focusing on his past two years as Clinton's top political consultant.

Terms were not disclosed by Random House, which lists retired Gen. Colin Powell among its authors, but sources indicated Thursday that Morris will receive up to $3 million.

Random House Publisher Harold Evans said Thursday he met Morris earlier this year and found him so "compulsively fascinating" that they entered into an agreement - "but not a standard contract" - to do a book about the Clinton White House.

Although the book is expected to come out soon after the November election, it still could prove embarrassing to Clinton. In the interview that appears in this week's Time, Morris recalls that many proposals made by Clinton in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention first were put through a polling and vetting process and the address itself was almost word for word the one drafted for him.

Feds Call for New Anti-Terrorism Measures at U.S. Airports

Los Angeles Times

Federal officials announced a series of steps Thursday to combat terrorism, including recommendations to make $300 million in improvements to airport security that would see the government assume more of the burden for ensuring that passengers and cargo on commercial aircraft are safe.

Fifty days after an explosion brought down TWA Flight 800, Vice President Al Gore announced recommendations to install advanced explosives detection devices at almost all airports, add more bomb-sniffing dogs and conduct selected airline passenger "profiling."

At the same time, Attorney General Janet Reno said federal law enforcement agencies will beef up their anti-terrorism units and CIA Director John M. Deutch said more CIA agents will be assigned to track terrorism.

Gore said the airport security improvements "are tough, they are doable, and we're going to get them in place quickly and effectively. "We may never see an end to terrorism," Gore said. "But we are sure going to do our level best to combat it."

In addition, the government, and not the airlines, would assume the delicate task of notifying the families of plane crash victims. After the July 17 TWA crash, the airline was sharply criticized for being slow to release a passenger list.

Gore's recommendations go to the president Monday and would require congressional approval to finance the new technology and other security measures.

Clinton Panel to Study Health Care

Los Angeles Times

President Clinton plans to announce Thursday he is creating a commission to conduct a major study of quality and consumer protection in health care, looking closely at the activities of hospitals, doctors and health maintenance organizations, officials in the Clinton administration said Wednesday.

The 20-member commission will be led by Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, and Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich, the officials said. Its members will include health care providers, employers, workers in the health care field and industry experts.

The commission will focus on examining quality of care for the millions of Americans who are often confused by the rapid changes in the world of managed care. Increasingly, Americans are becoming members of health maintenance organizations or other networks with prescribed lists of doctors and hospitals.

The commission is to deliver an interim report in a year, and a final set of recommendations in 18 months.

Hubble Shows Galaxy Formation

The Baltimore Sun

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have discovered what they say is the first galaxy ever observed under construction.

Peering nearly to the edge of the visible universe, Hubble found 18 gigantic star clusters packed within a space just 2 million light years across, and apparently on the verge of merging to form one brand-new galaxy.

The construction site is 11 billion light years from Earth. That means it shows the star clusters as they existed when their light began the trip toward Earth 11 billion years ago. At that time, the universe was just 15 percent of its present age.

"If this discovery is representative of what the universe is like at that distance, it means these baby galaxies would have grown through a series of collisions and mergers into the giant galaxies we see around us today," said astronomer Dr. Rogier A. Windhorst, of the Arizona State University.

"A year ago, we had no direct observations of how anything was being born," said Dr. Bruce Margon, former chairman of astronomy at the University of Washington, who was not involved in the Hubble findings. While not conclusive, Hubble's discovery "is the first page in an otherwise blank book."

Copyright 19,95, The Tech. All rights reserved.
This story was published on 9/6/96.
Volume 116, Number 39.
This story appeared on page 3.

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