Still smarting from Atlanta's last-minute theft of the centennial Olympiad, Athens is once again the top contender — closely followed by its centuries-old rival, Rome. But the announcement last week that South African President Nelson Mandela would personally attend the announcement might provide a hot outsider tip: Either Mandela is risking an humiliating photo op when Cape Town loses — or he knows something the smart money doesn't.
That old-time religion faces a stern test starting Monday, at the annual meeting of the National Baptist Convention. The nation's largest black church will try to deal with a scandal involving its president, the Rev. Henry Lyons. Lyons is under fire for a number of sins, foremost of which is using church funds to buy a posh condominium with Bernice Edwards, the church's PR director — herself a convicted embezzler. Lyons' wife was arrested last month and charged with setting fire to the condo. Meanwhile the reverend, who may also be married to two other women, has enraged black morticians by allegedly taking kickbacks from the Loewen Group, a Canadian-owned funeral home chain.