* Bob Geldof on Friday visited Ethiopia, for which he helped raise millions of dollars for the starving in 1985. The Irish rock star, instrumental in organizing Live Aid, is on a trip sponsored by the BBC to film a documentary
recalling the famine.
BACK TO YOU!
* After 35 years with NBC News, reporter Tom Pettit will retire after his stint today on Meet the Press. The highlight of his career was November 1963, when he provided exclusive coverage of the murder of President John F. Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, by Jack Ruby. Pettit, 64, says he is concerned about a new era of journalism driven by technology. "There was a time when we didn't see things so quickly," he said. ". . . The world has lost the mystery of time and distance." His most immediate plans call for a Bermuda vacation: "I'm going to lie on the beach, drink beer and eat myself silly."
* Steven Adler, tossed out of the band Guns N' Roses six years ago for drug abuse, was arrested Wednesday in Los Angeles and charged with possession of a syringe and heroin and being under the influence of the drug. The drummer was taken to a hospital after neighbors found him slumped over the steering wheel of his Ford Bronco. Adler, 30, is free on $10,000 bail but faces up to five years in prison on the charges.
A SPECIAL TRIP
* Prince Charles will make an official visit to the Republic of Ireland this summer, the first such visit by a member of the British royal family to that nation since 1969, when violence broke out between Northern Ireland's Catholic and Protestant populations. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said Thursday: "We are in touch with the Irish authorities in respect to the program for the visit, but for obvious reasons we have no further statement at this stage."
THE CONTRACT IS OUT
* John Gotti has put out a $1 million contract on Salavatore "Sammy Bull" Gravano, the New York Post reported Friday. Gravano is the former mob member whose testimony led to the reputed Mafia godfather being sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1992. The paper said that law enforcement sources told it privately that they had been aware of the contract for two weeks. It said that word of the contract had been passed by Gotti's son, John Jr., and that it was not restricted to mob members but open to anybody who kills Gravano, 50. Gravano is thought to be in the federal witness-protection program.
* Stop the presses: Rush Limbaugh has been fooled. And, it turns out, he was hoaxed by a fellow conservative. Limbaugh admitted last week that he had indeed been taken in. Thursday, Limbaugh recited incendiary quotes from CBS reporter Eric Engberg and Pacifica radio host Julianne Malveaux as "examples of liberal hate speech." Engberg, he announced, had likened House Speaker Newt Gingrich to Ebenezer Scrooge. Malveaux, he said, had expressed hope that Judge Lance Ito "would get a parasite from eating bad sushi and die." Limbaugh was reading from a newsletter published by conservative activist Brent Bozell and his Alexandria, Va.-based Media Research Center. And, as was noted at the end of the text, it was an April Fools' joke. Friday, shortly after the Washington Post told his chief of staff of the scam, Limbaugh 'fessed up on his show. ' "Yes, I, Rush Limbaugh, will say today, I was victimized by a friend of mine in my own camp."