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Principal Joe Clark a Dropout?

--Joe Clark, the bat-carrying principal portrayed in the film “Lean on Me,” said through personal manager Vincent Fusco that he will take a leave of absence when the school year ends and has had discussions with drug control director William J. Bennett about a possible post in President Bush’s Administration. " . . . I doubt I’ll ever come back. My soul is tired and fatigued from fighting an educational system that is rotten to the core,” he said. Clark, whose tough tactics as principal of Eastside High School in Paterson, N.J., have brought praise and criticism, said he will take the leave even if the government job does not pan out. He told the New York Daily News: “My blood pressure is up and my doctor says I’m headed for an early grave if I don’t slow down.” City officials have been trying to get the controversial principal fired. Clark, 50, just finished a five-day suspension ordered by Supt. Frank Napier after a school assembly last month that featured a female dancer who stripped three male partners down to G-strings. Clark said he did not know about the performers’ plans and was out of town during the assembly.

--Britain’s Prince Charles withdrew from a polo match in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, because of security concerns amid the furor over “The Satanic Verses,” which Muslims view as blasphemous. Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini has called for the death of the book’s British author, Salman Rushdie, and Iran has called the prince’s visit to the Persian Gulf an insult to Islam. A British diplomat said no specific threat against the prince had been received. But Dubai has a large community of Iranians, and British officials said the request that Charles skip the match originated in the office of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The Prince, who has been traveling with his wife, went on to Saudi Arabia, but Princess Diana flew home to attend a wedding.

--Donna Rice rose to notoriety after her romantic liaison with former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart was disclosed during his bid for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination. But nowadays, notoriety is the last thing on her mind. She says she’s had to wear false buck teeth and sunglasses to avoid being recognized in public. Rice, a model, said in a speech at the 15th annual Institute on the Ethics of Journalism at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va., that she had “lost everything I had worked for all of my life"--her reputation and credibility as well as her livelihood. “Imagine the kind of person you most dislike and think of people thinking of you as that kind of person,” she said.


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