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GAO to investigate ethics probe leaks

The Senate ethics committee said Thursday it has asked the General Accounting Office (GAO) to conduct a "complete investigation" of leaks to newspapers of "sensitive documents" in its probe of the links between five senators and former savings and loan executive Charles H. Keating Jr. The Select Committee on Ethics was turning to the GAO, Congress' investigative agency, because "some of these disclosures may have come from the committee itself," the panel said in announcing the probe. The committee also noted that lawyers for the five senators were advised that disclosure of documents was prohibited when they received them several weeks ago.PACs give millions to the unopposed

Seventy House members who faced no primary challenge and have no major opposition in next month's elections have accepted $10.4-million in political action committee donations, according to a survey released Thursday. The 70 are among 74 representatives with no major party opposition in the Nov. 6 elections. The 74 have raised $19.6-million since their last election, with 53 percent of that total coming from special-interest PACs. The survey by Public Citizen, a Ralph Nader-founded public interest group, said the number of House members running without opposition was up 25 percent from 59 in 1988.

Korean vets statue under controversy

The competition-winning design for the Korean War Veterans Memorial, unveiled under sunny skies by President Bush in a Rose Garden ceremony more than a year ago, is experiencing the cloud of controversy familiar to memorial designs in monumental Washington. It has been changed into a "GI Joe battle scene," charges a lawyer for its architects. "We're very concerned about being associated with a fraud," said Robert Sokolove, an attorney representing four architects from Pennsylvania State University whose design was chosen by a jury over more than 500 other submissions to the competition. Photographs of the original design, featuring a platoon of 38 bronze soldiers approaching a standard bearing an American flag, have been used in publicity seeking to raise money to pay for construction, Sokolove said, although the revised design shows soldiers "kneeling, some pulling pins out of grenades, some holding bazookas ready to fire."


The House rejected Thursday for a second time a $4-billion spending bill for Washington, D.C. that would have permitted the capital city to use its own tax money to fund abortions.

President Bush will meet Saturday in Hawaii with the leaders of 11 island nations from the South Pacific in what U.S. officials are calling a session with an "extended family." The island summit has no announced central purpose. It is expected to focus on hopes for economic growth and concerns about the environment within the region of the Pacific Ocean that stretches from Hawaii westward to Australia and Japan.

The Justice Department said Thursday that a former SS officer at three Nazi concentration camps in Austria during World War II has surrendered his American citizenship. Martin Zultner, a former Chicago resident who has lived in Salzburg, Austria, since 1975, will be barred from re-entering the United States.