The Earlybird: Today's Headlines

Immigrant equality, patients' rights deal, White House tunnel, Powell in Vietnam, Whitman on N.J. gov race, Cheney stumping in Minnesota, Levy lawsuit threat:

  • After other groups of immigrants complained they weren't getting equal treatment, President Bush said Thursday "he would consider including immigrants from other countries in a guest-worker program that his administration is developing with Mexico," the Dallas Morning News reports.
  • The idea for a broader guest worker program "also has support on Capitol Hill, where many lawmakers believe the 1986 effort to overhaul immigration policy failed in its key objective of stopping illegal immigration," the Los Angeles Times reports.
  • Bush presented the Congressional Gold Medal to 29 Navajo Indians on Thursday for "creating the uncrackable code used by the Marines during World War II's fiercest battles," AP reports.
  • Bush signed a bill Thursday that will name the Peace Corps headquarters in Washington after the late Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The bill also "sets aside federal money to help build a new science building at the University of Georgia to be named for Coverdell."
  • During a meeting with reporters yesterday, Bush "boasted of completing 'one of the most constructive first six months of any presidency,'" the Washington Times reports.
Let's Make A Deal
  • The Bush administration "negotiated a partial agreement late Thursday with proponents of a bill that would allow patients to sue their HMOs in state court," the Houston Chronicle reports. The agreement would allow patients' lawsuits to be heard in state courts, which Bush previously was opposed to.
  • Meanwhile, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., "backed away from plans to stall" the patients' rights vote "until after Labor Day, saying after meeting with Mr. Bush that he intended to schedule a vote for next week," the Washington Times reports.
Votes And Action
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure Thursday that would "extend the deadline for undocumented immigrants to apply for visas by a year," AP reports.
  • The Senate voted Thursday "to end Republican delaying tactics on tougher safety standards for Mexican trucks entering the United States," the Houston Chronicle reports.
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday "moved... to reverse President Bush's ban on providing U.S. funds to family planning groups that perform or advocate abortions overseas," Reuters reports.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday that would "add sexual orientation, gender and disability to the list of categories covered by federal hate crimes laws," National Journal News Service reports.
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., is expected to announce at a news conference today if he plans to subpoena the Bush administration to find out "whether there was any undue industry influence in the administration's decision to roll back environmental regulations," Reuters reports.
  • House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said in a newsletter interview with conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh that he "laments supporting Bush's bill expanding the federal role in education" and that he "may oppose final passage," the Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" reports. "I came here to eliminate the Department of Education," DeLay said.
More From 1600 Penn. Ave.
  • First lady Laura Bush "called for stronger education programs for preschoolers" at a Georgetown University conference for educators Thursday, the Dallas Morning News reports.
  • "White House budget director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. said yesterday that House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt and other Democrats were spouting political 'nonsense' by claiming that the budget surplus will be erased in six months," the Washington Times reports.
  • Some military officers are "grumbling privately" that Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are "disappointing them on everything from defense spending to politically tinged decisions on military operations," USA Today reports.
  • "Federal planners and District officials are reviewing a proposal to build a multilane tunnel to carry motor traffic underground near the White House instead of reopening Pennsylvania Avenue," the Washington Post reports.
Not Warming Up To Talks
  • EPA Administrator Christie Whitman said during an interview with the Washington Post Thursday that "the Bush administration has little interest in attempting to reopen international global warming talks any time soon and instead will focus on hemispheric and domestic measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions."
  • Some lawmakers are now "pressing for Congress to take the lead toward reducing emissions of so-called greenhouse gases," the New York Times reports. "Both Democratic and Republican Congressional aides say it is now likely that Congress will pass one or more measures this year calling for cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide, a main provision of the Kyoto global-warming treaty."
U.S. International Interests
  • Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Vietnam Thursday, where he presided "over a ceremony commemorating United States efforts to recover the remains of American soldiers missing in action," the New York Times reports. Powell will visit South Korea today and will travel to China over the weekend.
  • Russian military adviser Igor Sergeyev said Thursday that Russia "will 'work night and day' to try to reach an agreement with the U.S. over President Bush's missile-defense plans," the Wall Street Journal reports. Sergeyev's remarks came after National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to set a schedule for talks on the issue.
  • The United States "will not attend next month's World Conference Against Racism" if the issues of "Zionism as racism" and reparations for slavery are included in the conference agenda, the Washington Post reports.
  • "Some administration officials may be modifying their view that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was mainly responsible for organizing the violence in the West Bank and Gaza, and believe small radical groups were behind much of it," UPI reports.
  • The United States has "increased security at its embassy in Macedonia, sending in more Marines to protect against another attack prompted by anti-American sentiment," AP reports.
  • Gao Zhan, a United States scholar who was detained in China for five months and convicted of spying, said after arriving back in the United States Thursday that she "would defy orders by the Chinese not to speak or write about her experience," AP reports.
  • Former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid left his country yesterday to come to the United States for a medical checkup, the New York Times reports. "On his way to the airport he stopped in a park to address a small, determinedly loyal crowd of mostly poor supporters and vowed to return 'to lead the moral struggle for democracy.'"
  • "Rescue workers on Thursday battled to divert lava spewing from Europe's highest and most active volcano, Mount Etna, from engulfing a building housing a scientific monitoring centre," Reuters reports.
Gov Race Roundup
  • EPA Administrator and former New Jersey Gov. Whitman "suggested" in an interview with Washington Post editors and employees Thursday that some of New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler's (R) "views might be hard to sell in a general election against Woodbridge Mayor Jim McGreevey (D)."
  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge (R) on Thursday "made a campaign stop for Schundler in which the two promoted the concept of charter schools," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
  • Virginia gubernatorial candidate Mark Earley (R) attended a "a brief Oval Office meeting that was mostly a social call with photo opportunities" with Bush Thursday, the Washington Post reports. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Bush "embraced... Earley as Virginia's 'soon-to-be governor.'"
  • "Immigration is shaping up as a pivotal issue in the 2002 Iowa governor's race," the Des Moines Register reports.
  • Former U.S. Ambassador Pete Peterson (D), who is considering a 2002 challenge to Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., "swept through South Florida Thursday" and huddled "with Democratic power brokers" as he decides whether to run, the Miami Herald reports.
  • Brian Sullivan, the "only Republican actively campaigning for governor" in Minnesota, "said Thursday that he would drop out of the 2002 race if the party doesn't endorse him," AP reports. "The party endorsement won't be conferred until next June."
  • A new poll in Michigan shows the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination has grown closer, the Detroit Free Press reports. "Former Gov. James Blanchard leads state Attorney General Jennifer Granholm, 37 percent to 31 percent," while Rep. David Bonior's numbers have "risen 13 percent."
Tough Candidates
  • Sen. William Frist, R-Tenn., head of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, "said it will be very hard to find someone who can beat" Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., in 2002, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Durbin "has $3 million in cash on hand for his 2002" bid.
  • Vice President Dick Cheney will "attend a private fund-raising luncheon for" Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-Minn., when he visits "Minneapolis today to promote the Bush administration's plan for a new energy policy," the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
  • Two endorsements were given out yesterday in the upcoming Massachusetts 9th District special election, the Boston Globe reports. A "group of female politicians -- 14 state representatives, four senators, and a mayor" threw its weight behind state Sen. Cheryl Jacques (D), and Brockton Mayor John Yunits endorsed state Sen. Stephen Lynch (D).
  • Meanwhile, "the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee is pumping more than $75,000 into congressional hopeful JoAnn Sprague's longshot GOP bid," the Boston Herald reports.
  • Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (D) has endorsed Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., in his 2002 re-election bid, showing that the two "have reconciled after a series of feuds," CongressDailyAM reports.
In The States
  • Arkansas fire officials said "arson remained a possibility" in "a blaze that damaged Bill Clinton's old high school gymnasium, part of planned complex honoring the former president," Reuters reports.
  • The North Carolina Legislature "gave final approval Thursday to a bill that would let public schools display the Ten Commandments," AP reports.
  • On Thursday Philadelphia "was slapped with two lawsuits alleging that it disregarded" two protestors' "civil rights during the Republican National Convention last summer," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
  • Nathaniel Brazill, the 14-year-old who was convicted of second-degree murder of his teacher, will be sentenced today by Circuit Judge Richard Wennet in Florida, the Palm Beach Post reports.
No One Can Escape This One
  • Michael Dayton, a spokesman for Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., "has been interviewed by investigators looking into the disappearance of Chandra Levy, and another has offered, through his attorney, to talk to authorities," the Washington Post reports.
  • "The lawyer for Chandra Levy's family raised the possibility Thursday of a lawsuit against... Condit if police are unable to solve the former federal intern's disappearance," AP reports.
  • Police plan to ask Condit's wife "about a five-minute phone call she made to her husband's D.C. condo several days before" Levy vanished, the New York Post reports.
  • Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Colo., "said he would ask the House ethics committee to draft a rule making it clear that sexual relationships between interns and members of Congress are unethical," reports.
Names In The News
  • Waterbury, Conn., Mayor Philip Giordano (R), who challenged Lieberman in 2000, "was charged with using an interstate facility to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, and with conspiracy to commit that act," the Washington Post reports.
  • "Former Clinton Energy Secretary Bill Richardson joins Salomon Smith Barney's energy and power group as senior adviser, on top of his international consulting job at Kissinger McLarty Associates," the Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" reports.
  • The New York Post reports that New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) "has moved out of Gracie Mansion and is living full-time in pal Howard Koeppel's East Midtown apartment" in order "to escape the rancor of his bitterly contested divorce from Donna Hanover."

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