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Extortionist's demand

An extortionist has demanded $1-million from the Norwegian government for information leading to the recovery of The Scream, the Edvard Munch painting that is Norway's most famous artwork. The picture, said to be worth $52-million, was taken last month. A leading Oslo lawyer said his client had not stolen the picture but could get it back _ for a price. The Norwegian culture minister declined to say if the government would pay up, but allowed that "we will do a great deal to get this national treasure back."

Natcher misses vote

His 40-year record is broken

In a political career that stretches back to the first Eisenhower administration, 84-year-old Rep. William Natcher, D-Ky., had said yea or nay 18,401 times, a record string of votes in the House. That ended Thursday when he was too sick to leave his hospital bed and missed a simple procedural vote that opened that day's House session. In his honor, the House had suspended all legislative action Tuesday to keep his record alive. Then on Wednesday, he was wheeled onto the House floor on a hospital gurney, complete with oxygen and intravenous tubes, to cast four votes. Natcher cast his first vote Jan. 21, 1954 _ in favor of establishing an Air Force academy.