- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 6, 2003

Court won’t postpone California recall vote

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A panel of federal judges declined yesterday to postpone California’s gubernatorial recall vote, removing one of the last legal barriers to the Oct. 7 election.

The decision came in two lawsuits that argued Monterey County’s hurriedly assembled balloting plans for the election to unseat Gov. Gray Davis might disenfranchise minority voters.

The three-judge panel had delayed ruling on the lawsuits last week in anticipation of guidance from the U.S. Justice Department. That guidance came late Thursday. Justice Department spokesman Jorge Martinez said officials determined the county’s plans did not violate the federal Voting Rights Act.

Leading bishop rejects priests’ marriage plea

MILWAUKEE — The head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops rejected a plea from priests to allow married men to join the priesthood, questioning whether such a move would increase the number of priests.

Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the conference, affirmed Thursday his support for celibacy in a letter sent to Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan, in answer to a request from about 160 local priests.

The group, more than a quarter of the archdiocese’s clerics, called last month for opening the priesthood to married men.

Bishop Gregory said he is convinced the church must continue to follow centuries-old dictates upheld by Pope John Paul II, including the requirement that candidates for priesthood remain celibate.

Law firm contends NEA owes taxes

The government should start a criminal investigation into the nation’s largest teachers union to see whether the organization improperly used dues money to influence elections, a conservative law firm says.

Landmark Legal Foundation said Thursday it had reviewed thousands of pages from National Education Association records, which document political activities that were not reported to the government — and should have triggered tax payments.

The NEA denied any wrongdoing.

Roller coaster derails, killing one and injuring 10

ANAHEIM, Calif. — A locomotive broke loose on Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster yesterday, killing a man and injuring 10 other persons, officials said.

TV helicopters showed a triage unit set up near the ride and one person being taken on a stretcher to an ambulance.

The roller coaster takes amusement park visitors on a twisting, turning ride aboard what is supposed to be a runaway train in the Old West.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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