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IN THE NEWS – July 14, 2001: Chandra Levy Case - 2001-07-16

This is Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program, IN THE NEWS.

The American media is closely following the case of a missing young woman. Chandra Levy disappeared in Washington, D-C, two months ago. New information about the investigation of her disappearance is reported by the media almost daily.

Chandra Levy was last seen April Thirtieth in Washington. She had just completed a temporary job as an intern with the federal Bureau of Prisons. Mizz Levy was preparing to return home to California when she disappeared. She is twenty-four years old.

Almost one-hundred thousand people are listed as missing in the United States now. The media interest in the Chandra Levy case is so intense because she had told family members she was having a relationship with a Congressman, Gary Condit. The fifty-three year old Congressman is married and has two children. He represents an area in central California where the Levy family lives.

The Congressman’s spokesmen denied reports of the relationship. Mister Condit said Mizz Levy was a good friend. Yet, news reports said Mister Condit admitted to police he had a sexual relationship with the young woman. Mister Condit has denied any knowledge of what happened to Mizz Levy. And he has offered reward money for information about her.

Police working on the case have questioned about one-hundred people. The police say Mister Condit is not a suspect in the case. His lawyers say he has agreed to help with the investigation. Earlier this week, Mister Condit permitted police to search his Washington home.

Chandra Levy’s disappearance has increased public interest in the interns who work in Washington each year. Most interns are college students who work for no pay or very little pay. An internship offers a chance to experience the excitement of the nation’s capital. Some students are considering employment with the government or a public interest group.

Almost every large organization in Washington has interns. Interns work hard to be successful because they hope to be offered full-time employment. Many do work like opening mail and answering telephones that no one else wants to do. Yet their work can put young interns close to powerful people. And experts say that being close to power can influence a person’s judgement.

For some interns, the Washington experience can lead to trouble. The most famous intern in the Nineteen-Nineties was Monica Lewinsky. While she was working at the White House, she became sexually involved with President Bill Clinton.

Critics say some people in power misuse interns. But others say interns are adults who can make their own decisions. And most of the thousands of interns in Washington each year praise their experience.

This VOA Special English program, IN THE NEWS, was written by George Grow. This is Steve Ember.