The Earlybird: Today's headlines

Bush's bid for humanity, Daschle's foreign policy hit, CPSC resignation, Ryan's one term, Glickman's sizzle, Maureen Reagan's death, Archives's challenge:

  • President Bush helped build a Habitat for Humanity home in Waco, Texas, on Wednesday, and he used the occasion to criticize "Congress for balking at the legalities of his plan to allow faith-based groups to help administer social services," the Washington Times reports.
  • Bush said Wednesday that "he's close to announcing whether to permit federal funding of research on embryonic stem cells," USA Today reports.
Daschle Lashes Out
  • Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., is expected to give a speech today to the Woodrow Wilson Center accusing Bush "of taking a 'single-minded approach' to national security," the New York Times reports.
  • "The speech is designed to draw a distinction between Democrats and Republicans on foreign policy matters and build upon Daschle's highly publicized comments three weeks ago, when he chastised President Bush for allegedly pursuing an isolationist agenda," Roll Call reports.
Administration At Work
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairwoman Ann Brown announced Wednesday that she will resign "no later than Nov. 1," AP reports. Brown said, "I think it's important that President Bush has his own chairman here."
  • Secretary of State Colin Powell and Attorney General John Ashcroft will meet today with Mexican Foreign Secretary Jorge Castaneda and Interior Secretary Santiago Creel to discuss "ideas on more humane approaches for dealing with Mexicans living in the United States illegally and for those in Mexico who want jobs across the border," AP reports.
  • Pentagon officials said Wednesday that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld "is weighing two sharply differing proposals for the future shape of the armed forces, including one from his civilian subordinates that would substantially cut the military," the Washington Post reports.
  • A study released Wednesday by the National Institutes of Health found that "moderate exercise and a low-fat diet can sharply cut the risk of diabetes for millions of people most likely to develop the disease," the Boston Globe reports.
Justice Desserts
  • Federal officials arrested more than 100 people across the nation Wednesday "as part of a two-year operation targeting users of child porn Web sites," the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
  • "The Justice Department is preparing to offer $500,000 in federal grants to pay for DNA tests for inmates, even though the results could overturn their convictions," USA Today reports.
  • The department has "opened an investigation of alleged retaliation by senior FBI officials against agents who uncovered flaws in the bureau's handling of the 1992 siege at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and its aftermath," the Washington Post reports.
  • The Justice Department asked a federal appeals court Tuesday "to dismiss an excessive force lawsuit filed by Elián González's Miami relatives against former Attorney General Janet Reno and other former federal officials," AP reports.
Weak Economy
  • A Federal Reserve study released Wednesday shows that "the weakness in manufacturing was spreading to other industries, leaving many analysts to conclude that the worst of the recent slowdown may not be over," the Washington Post reports.
  • Today investors will "get their first read of whether those tax rebate checks are stimulating the slumping economy" as individual chain store sales reports are released, reports.
Around The World
  • In Macedonia yesterday, officials signed "a peace plan that commits Macedonia to step back from war and toward greater political and cultural rights for ethnic Albanians," the New York Times reports.
  • "Palestinian lawmakers formed a panel yesterday to explore ways to expand national dialogue, after factions outside Yasser Arafat's government called for an increase in the uprising against Israel," Reuters reports.
  • During his inaugural address for his second term on Wednesday, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami "vowed to enact reforms clearly demanded by Iranian voters and warned his formidable opponents that failure would reflect badly on the very idea of Islamic government," the New York Times reports.
  • On Wednesday U.S. and Russian officials ended "two days of talks at the Pentagon on the Bush administration's proposal to lift treaty restrictions on missile defenses while reducing US and Russian nuclear forces," AP reports. The Pentagon said "the delegations had a 'substantive discussion on a broad range of issues related to strategic stability and international security.'"
  • China said Wednesday that "it faces a serious" AIDS crisis in central China, reports.
  • NASA launched the spacecraft Genesis Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reports. Genesis will travel on a "three-year, $259 million mission to capture tiny samples of the solar wind, materials that will be returned to Earth to shed new light on how the planets formed and evolved."
Crime And Punishment
  • Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal said Wednesday that he will seek the death penalty for Andrea Yates, the Texas woman accused of drowning her five children, the Houston Chronicle reports.
  • Gregory Coleman, a "key witness in the murder case against" Kennedy nephew Michael Skakel, "died Tuesday of an apparent heroin overdose," the Hartford Courant reports.
  • Texas inmate Mack Oran Hill was executed Wednesday, AP reports. "He's the first of three set to die over the next eight days and the 250th to be executed in the state since the state resumed carrying out the death penalty in 1982."
  • The judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco "are protesting the monitoring of their computers by Washington managers concerned about personal Internet use," AP reports.
Ryan Bows Out
  • Illinois Gov. George Ryan (R) "on Wednesday formally declared he would not seek the Republican nomination for a second term and lashed back at his conservative critics," the Chicago Tribune reports.
  • Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood (R) said Ryan's decision "freed her up to consider a possible run for governor herself," and Attorney General Jim Ryan (R) "was expected to announce his own candidacy this morning," the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
  • Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla., joined Virginia gubernatorial candidate Mark Earley (R) on the campaign trail Wednesday, saying "that Earley is his kind of tax-cutting, welfare-reforming leader who believes in self-reliance," the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
  • New Jersey gubernatorial hopeful Bret Schundler (R) has released two new radio ads "that argue that he enjoyed broad political support while Jersey City's mayor," the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
  • The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO announced Wednesday it will endorse Auditor General Robert P. Casey Jr. (D) in his 2002 gubernatorial primary race against former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell (D), the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
  • Backers of California Gov. Gray Davis (D) "are charging that his Republican rival, Bill Jones, is illegally using state resources for political and personal causes," the Sacramento Bee reports.
  • Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaksa, "said the recent Democratic takeover of the Senate and the House vote last week in support of ANWR exploration have forced him to delay" his announcement on whether he will run for governor in 2002, Roll Call reports.
  • New York Gov. George Pataki (R) has sent out a fund-raising letter asking donors "who they work for and their occupation 'for state campaign finance reporting' purposes," AP reports.
  • The political consultants who worked on former New Hampshire Sen. Gordon Humphrey's (R) gubernatorial campaign against Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D) last year have "abandoned Humphrey and signed on with [Bruce] Keough's [R] budding campaign for governor," the Manchester Union-Leader reports.
Acting Like Candidates
  • Talk "of former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman's (D) potential Senate candidacy in Kansas is starting to sizzle," Roll Call reports.
  • Former U.S. Attorney for Colorado Tom Strickland (D) "vowed Wednesday to wage a 'different kind of campaign' in his latest bid" for the Senate against Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., the Denver Post reports. "The importance of the race will be evident next week as both President Bush" and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle "swing through Colorado to raise money for the two candidates."
  • Iowa Senate candidate Bill Salier (R) "walked into the Des Moines Club alone Wednesday, with a copy of the U.S. Constitution in his breast pocket and a message of conquering liberalism and shrinking government," the Des Moines Register reports.
  • Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) "set an election date of Tuesday, Nov. 20," for the special election in the 3rd District to replace Rep. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports. "The party primary elections are set for Sept. 25, with a runoff on Oct. 16, if needed."
  • Massachusetts state Sen. Marc Pacheco (D), who is running for the open 9th District seat, "unveiled a dozen union endorsements yesterday," the Boston Globe reports.
Harris On The Defense
  • Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris (R) "was registered to vote in two different counties for nearly seven months before aides caught the error," the Palm Beach Post reports.
  • Florida state Democratic Chairman Bob Poe "sent Harris a letter calling on her to resign" on account of documents endorsing Bush for president that were found in her office during the 2000 election, AP reports.
Condit's Game Plan
  • The Washington Times reports that Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., is considering opening "his campaign war chest to pay mounting legal and public relations bills stemming from his affair with intern Chandra Levy," similar to what former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., did when facing inquiries of his actions while in Vietnam.
  • Yesterday was the 100th day that Levy has been missing, reports. Meanwhile, Condit "has been discussing 'when and how' to discuss [his] relationship with Levy with his constituents."
Names In The News
  • Maureen Reagan, the first daughter of Ronald Reagan, "who often was at odds with her father's conservative base of support," died yesterday of melanoma, the Washington Post reports. She was 60.
  • The New York Times reports that she "had suffered a recurrence of melanoma, a skin cancer with which she was first diagnosed in 1996 and that, after some years in remission, recurred last fall."
  • John Tobin, a 24-year-old Fulbright Scholar who had been jailed in Russia for six months on charges of possessing marijuana, returned to the United States yesterday, the New York Times reports.
Hoping To Solve The Mystery
  • On Wednesday the National Archives "announced a challenge for sound experts" to try to recover the missing 18 1/2 minutes on one of the Watergate tapes, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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