THIS JUST IN . . .
* Those G-8 summits must be a helluva lot more fun than they look. About 5,000 journalists who gathered in Cologne, Germany, to hear world leaders drone on about international finance yesterday received two free condoms each in a package of thoughtful welcoming gifts distributed by the German Press Office. "They are Durex condoms. They have no latex in them and are especially thin," a German press official told us from Cologne, adding that the condoms are part of the government's anti-AIDS program.
* A widely varied group of 50 celebs ranging from Katharine Graham to Babyface Edmonds are the guests of honor at the American Academy of Achievement's 38th annual Achievement Summit in Washington, a four-day celebration that began last night. The academy is a national mentoring organization that matches up prominent adults with promising high school students.
* In The Source's exciting "Celebrity Tip Challenge," Jimmy Buffett left a 100-percent gratuity on drinks for himself and his band at Coco Loco restaurant last weekend. And yesterday former president Jimmy Carter tipped 20 percent--fairly decent but kind of sad by Buffett standards--when he took power broker Bob Strauss to lunch at the Palm.
* Some media navel-gazing: Variety reports that Dimension Films is paying our colleague, Post film critic Stephen Hunter, "mid-six" figures for the rights to his upcoming novel "Medal of Honor"--and "low seven figures" if it makes the movie. And sometime stand-up comedian Matt Cooper, until now Newsweek's deputy bureau chief in Washington, has taken the same job title at Time.
* Herndon resident Ken Malito has come forward to identify himself as the victim of pundit Robert Novak's obscenity-laced road-rage tantrum Tuesday evening, reports The Post's Josh Adams. Malito, a 36-year-old lobbyist, takes issue with our description of his vehicle as "a rust-flecked junker," saying it's a 1995 Nissan Maxima in excellent condition.
Blood, Still Thicker Than Water
Sometimes in Washington, the personal trumps the political. General Motors Foundation President Debbie Dingell, wife of powerful Michigan Rep. John Dingell, passionately disagrees with her husband's opposition to gun control. She has talked privately of painful childhood memories of a houseful of firearms and of a prescription-drug- addicted father who once pointed a gun at her mother.
But as the House was voting on the crime bill last night and today, she was standing by her man--whom some of his fellow Democrats are privately likening to Benedict Arnold. While enraged Dems were accusing the veteran congressman of "doing the bidding of the NRA"--in the words of Virginia Rep. Jim Moran--and robbing them of a campaign issue by watering down a key waiting-period- at-gun-shows provision, his wife canceled a business trip to stay here and lend him emotional support. She planned to sit in the House gallery last night to watch him cast his votes.
"I just want to be there for him," Dingell, who once called the NRA "a bunch of nuts," told us yesterday. "That's what people do if you love someone."
Marlene and Marriage--Who's Counting?
Merry widow Marlene Ramallo Cooke--living on a reported $20 million settlement from the estate of her late husband, Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke--is planning to wed again. The 46-year-old Cooke--divorced from her first hubby, Houston oilman David Chalmers, and married twice to Cooke after the Squire decided her divorce from Chalmers wasn't quite kosher--is engaged to 27-year-old Anders Ulle.
The good-looking Ulle, the Middleburg-reared scion of a wealthy Swedish family, got down on one knee to propose Tuesday night at Cafe Milano. Cooke accepted and he gave her a diamond, a modest rock of a single carat or so.
"I'm so happy," Cooke told The Post's Beth Berselli yesterday. "To me, it's just the most beautiful ring ever. . . . He's a wonderful person. He's got a wonderful family."
The Bolivian-born Cooke is still fighting government efforts to deport her over her 1986 guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Last month a federal judge said she could stay in the United States at least four more months while her attorneys haggle with immigration authorities.
Ulle, a 1995 graduate of Arlington's Marymount University who reportedly is in the telecommunications business, said: "I'm really not going to comment on my personal life--okay?"
CAPTION: Proposal No. 3 (or is it 4?) for Mrs. Cooke is from one Anders Ulle.
CAPTION: Debbie Dingell, supporting her man, who supports the NRA.
CAPTION: And now, the two Jimmys, facing off in the Celebrity Tip Challenge: Buffett emerged the clear winner.