The Earlybird: Today's headlines

Sharon's 10-day minimum, U.N. AIDS compromise, patients' rights hurdle, interest rate cut, Schundler's win, Cuomo's lead, Utah's U.N.-free zones, a "tan and trim" Clinton:

  • President Bush met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Tuesday at the White House, and Sharon "defiantly refused to proceed with an administration-backed peace plan until the Palestinians end their attacks," the Houston Chronicle reports. Sharon "demanded a 10-day cessation of violence before moving ahead with peace talks."
  • "In an unusually open display of discord between Israel and the United States," Sharon "publicly disputed Bush's assertion" that Israelis and Palestinians "are taking small steps toward peace," the Boston Globe reports.
  • "Israel has arrested a Palestinian it says appeared in a photograph thrusting his bloodied hands out a window to show that two Israeli soldiers had been slain by a mob," AP reports.
  • Secretary of State Colin Powell arrives in Jerusalem today in an effort to nudge along the peace process, the Wall Street Journal reports. "That Mr. Powell is traveling to the Middle East at all is an acknowledgment of how volatile the situation is after nine months of violence and more than 600 dead."
AIDS Agreements
  • Bush also met yesterday with South African President Thabo Mbeki, and both leaders said "they both support the newly established global AIDS trust fund," AP reports. Bush and Mbeki called "for 'urgently needed' additional efforts to address AIDS and other diseases."
  • Today the United Nations is set to adopt a Declaration of Commitment to the international AIDS crisis, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "The compromise, reached late yesterday, sidesteps sensitive issues such as homosexuality and intravenous drug use -- two HIV risk factors -- by referring more generally to people at risk of HIV infection, without naming the particular groups most at risk."
Health, Transportation, Swearing-In
  • The Senate on Tuesday voted against an amendment to the patients' rights legislation that would have given "businesses full immunity from workers' health-related lawsuits," the Houston Chronicle reports.
  • Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Tuesday "backed away from a Democratic-scripted attack he leveled Friday against President Bush's threat to veto health care reform legislation," the Washington Times reports. McCain "is now coordinating proposed changes not wanted by his co-sponsors."
  • Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said Tuesday that "he intends for the Senate to vote on a $6.5 billion bill to cover the Pentagon's budget shortfalls before it leaves for its July 4th recess," Reuters reports.
  • The House voted 285-143 Tuesday "to block the Transportation Department from issuing permits that would let Mexican trucks operate throughout the United States," AP reports.
  • The transportation bill approved by the House Tuesday also could "open the door to higher fuel economy standards for gas-gulping sport-utility vehicles," the Los Angeles Times reports.
  • The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Tuesday that would "make it easier for immigrants to remain in the United States with their families if their original sponsors die during the naturalization process," National Journal News Service reports.
  • Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., was sworn into the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
The National Interest
  • "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will ask Congress for authority to cut the Air Force B-1 bomber fleet by one-third and eliminate those now operated at Air National Guard bases in Georgia and Kansas," AP reports.
  • "As Pentagon officials and senior military officers squabble over a proposal to tighten the no-fly zone over Northern Iraq... 9,000 troops from the elite Iraqi Republican Guard have been sent to the region," and the State Department is closely watching the situation, UPI reports.
  • A federal jury in Florida convicted Army civilian employee George Trofimoff on Tuesday of "spying for the Soviet Union and then Russia over at least 25 years," the New York Times reports.
  • A panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences said Tuesday that a "decade-old government program allowing landowners to destroy some wetlands if they create or restore others is failing," the New York Times reports.
Making The Cut
  • The Federal Reserve Board is expected to cut interest rates today, Cox News Service reports.
  • Several new economic reports hint that "the economy might be stabilizing," the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • A Congressional Budget Office estimate shows that Bush's tax cut plan "has gobbled up three-quarters of the projected federal budget surplus through 2004," USA Today reports.
  • About 1,800 checks from taxpayers in New England and upstate New York that were sent to the Internal Revenue Service in April "have disappeared," the Boston Globe reports.
Around The World
  • "Joseph Estrada on Wednesday became the first former Philippine president to be arraigned on criminal charges," AP reports.
  • "A Chinese man seeking political asylum in the United States says that as a physician in China, he took part in removing corneas and harvesting skin from more than 100 executed prisoners, including one who had not yet died," the Washington Post reports.
  • Tuesday was the United Nations' anti-drug day, and China marked it "by executing dozens of people for drug crimes, burning narcotics and staging rallies nationwide," reports.
Schundler 'Soundly' Wins Primary
  • Jersey City, N.J., Mayor Bret Schundler (R) "soundly defeated" former Rep. Bob Franks, R-N.J., in Tuesday's GOP gubernatorial primary, the New York Times reports. "His wide margin of victory... gave the party's conservative wing the upper hand in the New Jersey Republican Party for the first time in 23 years."
  • "Franks conceded about 90 minutes after polls closed and asked his supporters to back Schundler," AP reports.
  • Schundler greeted his supporters appearing "alongside Jack Kemp, a leading proponent of Reaganesque 'supply-side' economics," and stressing "his agenda of cutting taxes and promoting school choice," the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
  • On the Democratic side, Woodbridge, N.J., Mayor Jim McGreevey easily walked away with his party's nomination after facing "only token opposition" from Elliot Greenspan, "an acolyte of perennial fringe presidential candidate Lyndon Larouche," the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
Fund Raising, Polls, Decisions
  • Virginia gubernatorial candidate Mark Earley (R) "added about $400,000 to his cash-strapped campaign last night at a dinner," the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. His opponent, Mark Warner (D), "plans to announce tomorrow formation of a 'Virginians for Warner' group that will include several usual GOP donors and will be headed by a former GOP political operative."
  • A new Quinnipiac University poll shows former Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo (D) 13 points ahead of Comptroller Carl McCall (D) in New York's Democratic gubernatorial primary, the New York Post reports.
  • The poll also found that Gov. George Pataki (R) "had slightly increased his lead over both his potential Democratic opponents in the gubernatorial election next year, should he decide to run," the Albany Times Union reports.
  • Former Rep. Glenn Poshard, D-Ill., "says he is actively considering running" for governor again next year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Poshard "narrowly lost" to Gov. George Ryan (R) in 1998.
  • Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan (R) yesterday was in Washington, where he discussed a possible 2002 California gubernatorial bid with White House aides, the Los Angeles Times reports. There is a "perception that Riordan is the candidate favored by President Bush."
9th District Races
  • Massachusetts state Sen. Stephen F. Lynch (D), who is running for the 9th District seat vacated by the death of Rep. Joe Moakley, D-Mass., "was arrested in 1980 after allegedly striking a pro-Iranian protester" and "also was charged with pot possession at a Grateful Dead and Willie Nelson concert in the 1970s," the Boston Herald reports.
  • Two more candidates are also considering the 9th District race, the Boston Herald reports. Former state Sen. Joseph Timilty (D) "surprised many observers by joining the other likely candidates in their first debate at the Old South Meeting House last night," and state Sen. JoAnn Sprague (R) "began collecting nominating signatures yesterday and will also join the fray in coming days."
  • Neither of the two redistricting bills introduced to the Virginia Assembly Tuesday carved out a 9th District for Oliver North (R) to run in, the Washington Times reports. The former Senate candidate said he would make a 2002 congressional bid if he could challenge Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va.
In The States
  • "Two rural Utah towns" -- La Verkin and Virgin -- "are considering ordinances that would declare the United Nations unwelcome within their town limits," UPI reports.
  • Five children killed last week by their mother, Andrea Yates, will be buried today in Houston, AP reports.
  • North Dakota's chamber of commerce "is backing a proposal to cut the state's name to 'Dakota.' Supporters insist the plan would help alter the state's image as a frigid, treeless prairie," AP reports.
  • "Welfare time limits, children's health insurance and family planning programs are emerging as major hurdles in" the Minnesota Legislature's "effort to avert a partial state government shutdown on Sunday," the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
  • California Gov. Gray Davis (D) "will flip a switch this afternoon to start up California's first major new power plant in 13 years," the Los Angeles Times reports.
Names In The News
  • David Brock, who wrote a book about Anita Hill, "has disavowed its premise, and now says that he lied in print to protect the reputation of Justice Clarence Thomas," the New York Times reports.
  • A lawyer for Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., said missing intern Chandra Levy "placed 'four or five' calls to" the congressman "just before she vanished," and the two did speak the day before she disappeared, the New York Daily News reports.
  • Former President Bill Clinton looked "tan and trim" when he spoke at graduation ceremonies Tuesday night at the the Professional Performing Arts School, which was made famous by the movie "Fame," Reuters reports.
  • Former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., will undergo surgery today at the Cleveland Clinic "to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm," reports. Dole "is expected to be released from the hospital Saturday."
  • "National Review managing editor Jay Nordlinger was presented the third annual Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Journalism at a ceremony yesterday," the New York Post reports.
Religious Change
  • "Leaders of Reform Judaism will adopt stricter guidelines for religious conversion today, embracing more traditional rites that American Judaism's most progressive and popular branch has historically rejected," the Washington Post reports.

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