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First lady Barbara Bush has revealed a rat was...

By United Press International ------ President saved wife from rat

HOUSTON -- First lady Barbara Bush has revealed a rat was swimming in the White House pool with her several months ago, but the president came to her rescue.

Mrs. Bush said in an interview with the Houston Post the rat 'just went by in front of me' while she was swimming in the pool wearing a swimming mask.

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'Fortunately, George Bush was there,' she added. 'It was horrible.'

'I was out of that pool so much faster than I thought I could,' she said.

She revealed the incident in recalling some of her best and worst memories since she moved into the White House.

Soviet visitors looking for bikinis, mini-skirts, blue jeans

SEATTLE (UPI) -- Mini-skirts, blue jeans and bikinis top the lists of Soviet shoppers visiting for the GoodwillGames, but sneakers, sheepskin coats and leather jackets are 'out,' a recent survey showed.

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The survey commissioned by Stolichnaya Russian vodka found Soviet shoppers who will be in Seattle from July 21 to Aug. 5 will follow the buying patterns of the average American young adult.

The Soviet fashion 'in and out' list was based on telephone interviews with 400 young Muscovites, ages 18-39, which also asked questions about exercise and sports -- tying in to the Goodwill Games' gathering of 3,000 athletes from around the globe.

Just under 60 percent of the respondents named mini-skirts as No. 1 on the 'in' fashion list, and 51 percent put tie-dyed and faded jeans in the same category. Bikinis were favored by 53 percent.

Sneakers and sports shoes are not as likely to be in demand, the survey found. More than half, 56 percent, classified these as exercise items and 'out.'

Despite the cool Pacific Northwest evenings, few Soviets (31 percent) are expected to buy sheepskin coats, considered fashionable last winter in America, and a majority (58 percent) said the 'biker' look of leather pants and jackets is out.

Closed circuit TV catches ethics panel off guard

SALEM, Ore. (UPI) -- Members of the Oregon Government Ethics Commission learned a lesson Tuesday: Never speak into an open mike.

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After reporters had left the commission's meeting, the panel's top staff member, Betty Reynolds, said she may quit, and commissioners sharply criticized the Legislature and the news media.

The commissioners were apparently unaware that the meeting was still being broadcast throughout the Capitol on closed circuit television. Reynolds refused later to discuss her remarks, which seemed to indicate she was going out of state for job interviews later in the week.

Reynolds, the commission's executive director who has been a frequent target of the panel's critics, said she has been 'destroyed' by the attacks, and may quit.

'To be honest with you, I'm leaving Thursday for an interview in Phoenix and Friday for an interview in Austin,' Reynolds told the panel. 'I probably won't be with you much longer.'

Members of the panel also sharply criticized the press, and discussed whether they should launch a campaign to convince journalists the commission is doing a good job.

Councilman proposes $100 flag burner permits

SLIDELL, La. (UPI) -- City Council President Bob Callahan has decided if flag burning cannot be outlawed, it should be taxed.

Callahan planned to propose a Criminal Code amendment Tuesday to require anyone who burns a United States flag to obtain a $100 permit before doing so. Without the permit, the burner could be hit with a 90-day jail sentence and a $500 fine.

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'I decided if they want to desecrate the flag, let them pay for it,' said Callahan, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. 'I feel very strongly about the protection of the flag.'

A public hearing on his proposal will be held at the Aug. 14 council meeting.

Elvis mania reaches Soviet Union

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UPI) -- The Cold War must really be over. The Soviet Union now has something that most non-communist nations have had for years -- an Elvis fan club.

Graceland officials say they have been notified of the formation of the All-Union Association of Rock 'n' Roll Fans in Moscow.

Although Elvis, who died Aug. 16, 1977, is not in the name of the club, president Kostya Shniriov wrote that they concentrate on Elvis.

'We plan to celebrate Elvis's birthday with a special concert on Jan. 8, 1991,' Shniriov wrote. 'We are negotiating with the authorities to open a club entirely devoted to rock 'n' roll, to be called Memphis.'

Shniriov sent along photos, including one of her standing beside a wall hanging in Russian and English -- 'Elvis died. Rock 'n' roll is living.'

The club president said that Soviet Elvis fans have some catching up to do with their counterparts across the world.

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'Recently, a recording of Elvis's music was issued by Melodya Records called 'Elvis Presley.' We have a collection of articles about Elvis which have appeared in the Soviet press, as well as local concert posters and programs. We have tapes of Elvis's music, but unfortunately have never seen any of his films,' she said.

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