Hospital Report: Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater is said to be alert and is receiving visitors at George Washington University Hospital, where he is undergoing radiation therapy for what doctors have called "brain tumor progression," the discovery of another tumor. Describing his condition as "unchanged," RNC spokeswoman Leslie Goodman said yesterday that physicians have not said when Atwater might be released from the hospital. "There is no release date and ... I have heard no discussion of that," Goodman said.

Out and About In the George Bush "Gee, I wish I hadn't said that" category: Sen. Arlen Specter met with Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein in January, and according to Congressional Quarterly's Insight Newsletter, predicted warming relations. "It is apparent that the Iraqis are expressing a strong preference for diplomatic rather than military solutions" ...

If Lassie and Woody Woodpecker have stars along Hollywood's Walk of Fame, why not Cheeta? A move is underway finally to reward the clever chimp with a talent for flipping back his upper lip in all those Tarzan pictures. According to the current Newsweek magazine, the 56-year-old retired film star lives quietly in a trailer in Thousand Oaks, Calif., eating food from the table of his 83-year-old trainer, Tony Gentry, and enjoying a bottle of beer each day, often while smoking a cigar. In addition to those Tarzan movies with Johnny Weissmuller, Cheeta performed with Jerry Lewis and costarred with Ronald Reagan in the memorable "Bedtime for Bonzo." In other chimp news, J. Fred Muggs, one of the better-loved co-hosts of the "Today" show, is reportedly in good health at 38 ...

The award-winning rhythm and blues group Soul II Soul has canceled its North American tour after its members were involved in a seven-car pileup over the weekend. Jazzie B., the 27-year-old lead singer and songwriter, whose real name is Beresford Romeo, suffered back injuries, and doctors advised him against performing for a week. Four other band members were treated for minor injuries ...

Royal Watch: The Sun, one of the quick-on-the-draw British tabloids, fired from the hip too fast this time. The Rupert Murdoch paper ran a photograph of Prince Charles hugging a former girlfriend in Spain with the headline: "Charles Hugs His Old Flame." The photograph was taken after Penny Romsey and her husband, Lord Norton Romsey, informed Charles that their daughter, Leonora, 4, had cancer ...

The National Geographic Society has noted some significant changes in the first revision of its World Atlas since 1981. Germany, with capitals in Bonn and Berlin, no longer has a red line dividing the country into East and West. And according to Geographic spokeswoman Barbara Hand Fallon, 17 areas have been designated as "hot spots," where political upheavals could suddenly change a country's border or name. For example, the designation S.S.R. (Soviet Socialist Republic) has been dropped from the Baltic nations of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. And there is a note on the Middle East map: "On Aug. 2, 1990, Iraqi military forces invaded Kuwait" ...

What a difference a week makes. The street vendors on Connecticut Avenue are hawking Marion Barry T-shirts -- the ones about Barry being set up by the woman he trusted at the Vista Hotel -- at half price. The real question is: Will Barry T-shirts be on sale in November? ...