The Earlybird: Today's Headlines

Bush team energy push, Powell's China charm, Hastert on stem cells, patients' rights talks, Code Red presser, Davis' cash, Reno's decision, Reform's new platform, Clinton's big day:
  • As part of an effort this week to lobby for his energy plan, President Bush today will "sign an executive order designed to promote energy conservation," USA Today reports. Meanwhile, Vice President Dick Cheney "will offer interviews to media outlets in the districts of lawmakers whose votes are needed," the Teamsters union "will tout the jobs they say would be created by new exploration and production," and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham "will cite supporting evidence from the Clinton administration for drilling in Alaska."
  • The House could take up legislation this week "that plays off the key themes of President Bush's proposed national energy policy," the Washington Times reports. The bill would provide for "billions of dollars more in research, stiffer conservation standards and tens of billions of dollars more in energy-related tax breaks."
  • House Democrats "permitted two key unions to pitch a controversial plan to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge" last week, Roll Call reports. Democrats hosted a session in which the Sierra Club and the Alaska Wilderness League debated against the Teamsters and the International Union of Operating Engineers.
Making Progress With China
  • Following his trip to China over the weekend, Secretary of State Colin Powell said the nation "wanted to keep tensions over Taiwan at a minimum and also to avoid a repeat of the April 1 spy-plane incident," AP reports.
  • "Powell says he narrowed differences with China over Beijing's military exports, while giving them assurances Saturday that the planned U.S. missile defense system does not pose a threat to China," CBSNews.com reports.
  • "Chinese officials have suddenly sounded more accommodating" to discussing issues with U.S. officials, the New York Times reports. "Despite deep worries about American intentions and what are perceived here as the hawkish tendencies of the Bush administration, such thinking about the need for global engagement, especially for close economic and technological ties with the world's only superpower, is nearly dogma in Beijing today."
  • Today Powell is in Australia for talks with officials there about "regional security issues," AP reports.
Stem-Cell Debate
  • After holding back "for weeks" on the issue, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said Sunday on "Meet The Press" that he opposed federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, the Washington Post reports.
  • Hastert also "suggested President Bush may be able to drop his opposition to embryonic stem cell research without dire political consequences," Reuters reports.
  • The House this week will consider two bills on banning human cloning, USA Today reports.
On The Hill
  • The debate over patients' rights is expected to resume today with talks between the White House and Rep. Charles Norwood, R-Ga., CNN.com reports.
  • Hastert may bring the issue to a vote this week, the Washington Times reports.
  • "House Republicans have abandoned their effort to try to overturn dozens of federal regulations that were adopted in the final months of the Clinton administration, acknowledging that the balance of power on Capitol Hill has changed dramatically since the days when President Bush first came into office," the Washington Post reports.
  • Hastert and House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., said Sunday "they would not support a proposal to change Social Security" that was written by Reps. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., and Charles W. Stenholm, D-Texas, Reuters reports.
  • Confirmation hearings will begin today in the Senate Judiciary Committee for FBI Director-designate Robert Swan Mueller III, AP reports.
Bad News For The Kids
  • Bush had to cancel his planned trip to the National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia on Sunday because of bad weather, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
  • "All that chatter early in the Bush administration about how family-friendly the working hours at the White House were was bunk. It's 80 hours a week, and no jeans on weekends," U.S. News and World Report's "Washington Whispers" reports.
Calls To Stop The Attacks
  • "Representatives from the White House, FBI, Microsoft and other" organizations today will "implore worldwide organizations to protect themselves from the 'Code Red' worm" that has been spreading through computers, AP reports.
  • On Sunday residents of Vieques island voted on a nonbinding referendum "for the U.S. Navy to immediately stop bombing on this Puerto Rican island," AP reports.
Economy Watch
  • "Spending by consumers... grew 2.1% in the second quarter," although "the Commerce Department reported Friday that inflation-adjusted gross domestic product grew at an anemic 0.7% annual rate in the second quarter, its lowest in eight years," the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Stocks are expected to "start the day in positive territory" today, CNNfn.com reports.
On The Russian Front
  • U.S. intelligence officials said "Russia has conducted a test of a long-range missile with a new jet-powered last stage designed to defeat U.S. missile defenses," the Washington Times reports.
  • New documents reveal that accused spy Robert Hanssen, who is charged with spying for the Soviets, was "second in command of the FBI's Soviet Analytical Unit, part of a broad program to counter KGB dis-information campaigns" during the 1980s, CBSNews.com reports.
  • The White House "is urging Russia to enact significant reforms in a few political regions to demonstrate how the entire country could attract private foreign investment," the Wall Street Journal reports.
Mideast Violence
  • In Jerusalem on Sunday, "hundreds of Israeli police stormed the city's most fought-over religious shrine yesterday and secured the hilltop compound after rocks rained down on Jewish worshippers bowed in prayer at the Western Wall," the Baltimore Sun reports.
  • Today six Palestinians were killed in an explosion at a West Bank refugee camp, CNN.com reports.
New Positions
  • Because of a "somewhat ambiguous" South Dakota law, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., "will likely face a court challenge if he tries to run for both re-election and president in 2004," Roll Call reports.
  • "In a unified move to make the" Reform Party "'more vocal' about its conservative views on social issues, delegates from across the country at the party's national convention" in Nashville this weekend "voted to align themselves with the ideals of Pat Buchanan," the Nashville Tennessean reports.
Emerging Gov. Race Issues
  • New Jersey gubernatorial hopeful Bret Schundler (R) "so far has failed to win over key Republican women who flourished under former Gov. Christie Whitman and played important roles in raising money and expanding the" state Republican Party, mainly because of "his unambiguous opposition to abortion," the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
  • New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim McGreevey "spoke to Reuters about his plans for New Jersey, including debt reduction, which he views as the single greatest fiscal concern facing the state."
  • The "niceties in the" Virginia gubernatorial race between Mark Earley (R) and Mark Warner (D) "are gone and both campaigns are going negative with regularity," the Washington Business Journal reports.
  • University of Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable (R) "announced Saturday that he would not seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2002," the Des Moines Register reports.
  • Pennsylvania state Sen. Robert "Tommy" Tomlinson (R) announced Friday that he would not run for governor, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
  • Minnesota state Sen. Becky Lourey (D) "probably will register a campaign finance committee with the state in the next few days" to explore a potential gubernatorial bid, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
  • "The Tuesday filing deadline on financial activity in the first six months of this year is expected to offer an early glimpse at how formidable" Caifornia Gov. Gray Davis (D) will be in 2002, the Los Angeles Times reports. "Few doubt that Davis will break the record for gubernatorial financing. The only question, say analysts, is by how much."
  • Former Attorney General Janet Reno (D) on Saturday "said she expects to decide in the next six weeks on whether to run for governor" of Florida, AP reports.
  • "Florida's Democrats have a bumper crop of candidates running in the 2002 race for governor, but they are behind in fundraising for a battle that is expected to attract national attention," the St. Petersburg Times reports.
Announcements And Explorations
  • Massachusetts state Sen. Brian Joyce (D) officially kicked off his 9th District bid yesterday, becoming the "last of four Democratic state senators to formally announce their candidacy for the seat," the Boston Globe reports.
  • William Kennedy Smith, nephew of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., "is exploring his chances of winning the seat held by" Rep. Rod Blagojevich, D-Ill., AP reports. In 1991, Smith was "found innocent" of a rape charge.
  • "As Smith looks at the race, the other main contenders in the March 2002 Democratic primary are jockeying for position. Winning the primary in the heavily Democratic 5th District is tantamount to clinching the November general election," the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
  • Rep. Joe Hoeffel, D-Pa., whose district is threatened in the redistricting process, is "making it his summer project to, as he puts it, 'keep the issue front and center,'" the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
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