Today's Papers: Mark Thatcher sued for pounds 4m

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The Independent Online
MARK THATCHER is facing a pounds 4m civil action under US racketeering legislation, the Sunday Times reports. The paper says that a Texas businessman will serve legal papers on the former prime minister's son this week, claiming that he, and an associate, falsified the financial position of an aircraft fuel company in order to take it over cheaply.

According to the Observer, the Scott inquiry is investigating allegations that Ministry of Defence officials approved a contract to secretly supply 1,500 missiles to Iraq. The paper says the claim is especially embarrassing because it involves the supply of weapons of mass destruction - air-to-ground missiles - rather than machine tools.

The Conservative Party is facing a membership crisis which could threaten its future by the year 2000, says the Mail on Sunday. According to the paper, membership could drop from 2.8m to 100,000.

The Sunday Mirror has an interview with a drug dealer who says he sold the Hollywood movie star River Phoenix a dose of crystal methamphetamine, or 'tweak', just before he died outside a nightclub a year ago. According to the paper, James Rossi says that Phoenix's death haunted him so much that he abandoned the drugs trade.