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President has polyps removed

CAMP DAVID — Doctors removed five small polyps from President Bush’s colon yesterday after he temporarily transferred the powers of his office for two hours to Vice President Dick Cheney.

The polyps were found during a routine colon-cancer scan. They all measured less than a centimeter and none “appeared worrisome,” White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

The colonoscopy, performed at the Camp David presidential retreat, lasted 31 minutes. The polyps have been sent for microscopic examination to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. Results are expected within 72 hours.

Mr. Bush invoked the disability clause of the Constitution at 7:16 a.m. and transferred his authority to Mr. Cheney, who was at his home on the Chesapeake Bay. Mr. Bush reclaimed presidential powers at 9:21 a.m.

“The president was in good humor and will resume his normal activities at Camp David,” Mr. Stanzel said.

Ambulance crash kills 5 in Ohio

VAN WERT, Ohio — An ambulance headed to a hospital was broadsided by a car at an intersection and caught fire Friday night, killing three emergency medical technicians and two patients, the State Highway Patrol said.

The patients were being treated for injuries from an earlier car wreck when their ambulance was struck in Crane Township, about 65 miles southwest of Toledo.

A fourth Antwerp Emergency Medical Services worker and the driver of the other vehicle were taken to a hospital for treatment, the patrol said. Their conditions were not available.

Senators unable to reach budget deal

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Unable to persuade Republicans to support the state budget, the Senate Democratic leader allowed bleary-eyed legislators to leave the Capitol yesterday morning after locking them in the chamber overnight.

Senate President Don Perata ordered the rare legislative lockdown in a standoff over whether to cut a tiny fraction of the proposed $145 billion state budget.

Mr. Perata told his Republican counterpart to come up with his own version of the budget so the Senate could reconvene Wednesday.

Republicans had rejected a spending plan passed by the Assembly that reduces the state’s operating deficit to about $700 million, about one half of 1 percent of the overall budget.

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