- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Babbitt releases plan for Yosemite

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt issued a $441 million plan yesterday to restore Yosemite to a more natural state over the next two decades by getting rid of many parking spaces, cabins and one of the most heavily used roads running through Yosemite Valley.
Tourists no longer will be able to park their cars at the base of Yosemite Falls, North America's tallest waterfall. Instead, many will have to see Half Dome, El Capitan and other sights from shuttle buses running from three outlying parking lots.

Wolves may return to southern Rockies

BROOMFIELD, Colo. An environmental group that successfully campaigned for the return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park wants the federal government to do the same in the southern Rockies.
The large expanses of public land and sparse population in the southern Rockies make it an ideal area for gray wolf reintroduction, Defenders of Wildlife said Monday.
"Gray wolves have an important role to play in the biological health and wholeness of the southern Rockies, and it's time for the federal government to get serious about restoring the species here," said Roger Schlickeisen, president of the group.

Pentagon targets malls to seek recruits

The Pentagon plans to set up recruiting stations in major shopping malls across the nation, opening a new "front" in its battle to attract young men and women, a senior official said yesterday.
Bernard Rostker, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, told reporters that the first of these new recruiting offices would be established next month in the Potomac Mills megamall outside Washington. It will seek recruits for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
"We'll try it in a number of other high-traffic malls throughout the country," he said.

Commission pushes space-spying effort

A commission yesterday recommended creating an office cloaked in secrecy to pursue innovative technology for spying from space, saying the existing agency was not sufficiently clandestine for the task.
The National Commission for the Review of the National Reconnaissance Office said the NRO, the agency that designs, builds and operates U.S. spy satellites, had lost some of its luster since the end of the Cold War due to inadequate funding and declining attention from the president, secretary of defense and CIA director.
Rep. Porter J. Goss, Florida Republican, and Sen. Bob Kerrey, Nebraska Democrat, served as co-chairmen of the 11-member bipartisan commission, established by Congress in December 1999.

Federal execution in Indiana delayed

The first federal execution in the United States in 37 years, originally slated for today, was postponed indefinitely yesterday, prison officials said.
David Paul Hammer, sentenced to death Nov. 4, 1998, for the April 1996 fatal strangulation of his cellmate in a Pennsylvania prison, filed an appeal and consequently, "the execution has been postponed," said Terre Haute, Ind., penitentiary official Kathy Pierce.
Hammer's would have been the first federal execution in the United States since 1963, but instead, triple murderer and drug trafficker Juan Raul Garza will face that fate Dec. 12.

Votes by students under investigation

MILWAUKEE The district attorney is investigating a report that scores of college students may have cast more than one presidential ballot.
The Marquette Tribune, Marquette University's student newspaper, surveyed 1,000 students and said it found that 174 admitted voting more than once. The newspaper conducted the survey after state Republicans on Friday charged voting irregularities, including claims that students at Marquette and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee voted more than once.
Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann said his office is investigating the accusations, as well as reports that a Democratic Party volunteer gave homeless people cigarettes in exchange for votes.

Fox probes role of Bush cousin

NEW YORK Fox News Channel is investigating whether an executive related to George W. Bush provided his cousin's campaign with insider exit-poll data on Election Night.
Fox said, however, that John Ellis did not make the final decision when the network declared at 2:16 a.m. Nov. 8 that Mr. Bush had won the presidency.
The network is considering some sort of disciplinary action against Mr. Ellis, who was working on a temporary contract, spokesman Rob Zimmerman said yesterday.Mr. Ellis, a first cousin to the Texas governor, was the director of Fox's decision team on Election Night. He was responsible for interpreting election data and helping Fox News Channel declare states for either Mr. Bush or Vice President Al Gore, Mr. Zimmerman said.

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