- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2000

Cubans to attend Black Caucus meeting

The Cuban government is sending a delegation of parliamentarians to attend the annual meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington.
The event would mark the first time a group of lawmakers from the communist island would visit the United States.
An official at the Cuban Permanent Mission to the United Nations confirmed late yesterday that a group of members from Cuba's National Assembly had been notified by the U.S. Interests Section in Havana that their visas were approved.

Clinton administration expands housing help

In a season of political disagreements, both parties are pushing to help low-income families afford housing, a problem worsened by the robust economy's tight rental market.
The Clinton administration announced yesterday it will use an additional $100 million a year to expand its Section 8 rental assistance voucher program, which helps more than 1.4 million low-income households.
Sen. Christopher S. Bond, Missouri Republican, says expanding the voucher program doesn't go far enough.

Civil rights office inept, USDA's inspector says

Hundreds of civil rights complaints have piled up at the Agriculture Department because of the inept, disorganized staff responsible for handling them, federal investigators said yesterday.
The "complaints system is in total disarray," USDA's inspector general, Roger Viadero, told the Senate Agriculture Committee.
James Robertson, who oversaw an investigation of the civil rights office, said it lacked qualified personnel.

Siamese twin girls separated in operation

COLUMBUS, Ohio Three-month-old Siamese twins who were joined at their lower backs were in critical but stable condition yesterday after they were surgically separated.
The Liberian girls, flown to the United States for the surgery, were resting after undergoing the eight-hour operation Monday at Children's Hospital. Mary Cole, weighing 10 pounds, and her sister Decontee, 7 pounds, were doing well, doctors said.
The little girls, born June 4 in a hut, were lucky because their vital organs were separate, doctors said.

Republicans seek health bill provision

Congressional Republicans will attempt to expand and make permanent a law creating limited medical savings accounts, which allow people to make tax-deductible contributions for health costs.
Rep. Bill Archer, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said yesterday the provisions would be a key GOP negotiating point as Congress and the White House attempt to reach accord on a bill granting people new rights in dealing with health maintenance organizations, including a possible right to sue.

Skin cancer surgery gives McCain a scar

John McCain returned to the Senate spotlight yesterday with a new facial scar as a result of skin cancer surgery.
The Arizona Republican and former Vietnam POW had surgery last month to remove a cancerous tumor on his temple and several nearby lymph nodes.
Tests found no evidence the cancer had spread, meaning Mr. McCain stands an excellent chance of being cured.

Event planned to honor Wright brothers flight

A replica of the Wright brothers' historic biplane is being built to honor the first flight of a powered aircraft.
A group of pilots and flight enthusiasts stood yesterday at the National Air and Space Museum under the original "Wright Flyer" to announce the countdown to the event.
On Dec. 17, 2003, at 10:35 a.m., a century to the minute after the flight, the replica will attempt to take off from the same Kitty Hawk, N.C., beach where history was made.

Podesta to testify about e-mail case

White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was ordered yesterday to testify in a case involving thousands of lost Clinton administrations e-mail.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, who is overseeing the production of the messages, ordered that Mr. Podesta appear in the case, brought by the conservative legal organization Judicial Watch.
Judge Lamberth has been holding hearings for several weeks. Because of a computer glitch, thousands of incoming e-mail messages were not properly archived from September 1996 to November 1998.

NASA extends shuttle mission

Shortly after astronauts from the shuttle Atlantis swung open the hatches to the international space station yesterday, NASA extended their flight.
Stretching the mission from 11 to 12 days will give the five astronauts and two cosmonauts more time to equip the orbital outpost for the arrival of its first resident crew in November, the space agency said.
The seven fliers planned to move more than 3 tons of equipment into the station.

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