- The Washington Times - Monday, July 23, 2001

Shuttle astronauts leave space station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Their mission accomplished despite some "bumps in the road," space shuttle Atlantis and its crew left the International Space Station yesterday and set off for home.

Atlantis' crew is due back at Kennedy Space Center early tomorrow, 12 days after lifting off.

Oregon Democrats back impeachment

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Democratic Party yesterday endorsed a drive to impeach five U.S. Supreme Court justices for last year's decision that ratified George W. Bush's presidential victory.

The party's central committee has voted overwhelmingly to begin a campaign it hopes will take the issue to the House, which has the authority to impeach justices.

The justices who voted to end Florida's statewide hand recount were Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia, Sandra Day O'Connor, Clarence Thomas and Anthony M. Kennedy.

Staff shortages hurt nuclear weapons labs

Staff shortages resulting from Energy Department budget cuts in the Clinton administration have contributed to problems at nuclear weapons laboratories, agency Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman said in a report.

Budget cuts from 1995 to 1998 reduced staff by about one-quarter, leading to a critical shortage from which the department has yet to recover.

The problems include a two-year shutdown in California of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's plutonium facility.

Treasury secretary sees economy bounce

Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill said yesterday the U.S. economy had turned the corner to bounce back to a 3 percent growth rate by next year.

"We're going to see a return to a better rate of real growth in the fourth quarter and into next year," he told "Fox News Sunday." "Most of us are looking for something over 3 percent real growth in 2002."

Depression raises heart failure risk

CHICAGO — Being depressed stresses the heart and more than doubles the risk of heart failure among the elderly with high blood pressure, researchers said yesterday.

Depression causes excessive stimulation of the body's sympathetic nervous system that controls heartbeat and breathing, putting a strain on the already overworked hearts of hypertensive people, said researchers from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

Inmates escape from federal prison

ELKTON, Ohio — Two inmates serving time for drug charges have escaped from a low-security federal prison. The two men, identified as Rafael Herrera, 53, and Juan Gonzales-Valencia, 30, escaped from the Federal Correctional Institution in eastern Ohio about 7 p.m. Saturday, said acting warden Mary Anne Varner.

California Senate OKs spending plan

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Senate yesterday approved a $101 billion budget, ending a fight over a sales tax increase that left the state without a spending plan for almost a month. The 28-11 vote sends the fiscal 2001-2002 budget to Gov. Gray Davis, who has indicated he will sign it this week.

Lieberman to draft faith-based initiative

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman said yesterday he is developing his own version of legislation passed by the House last week that would expand federal funds for religious charities.

The House bill, supported by President Bush, faces opposition from Mr. Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, and other Senate Democrats who say it would pre-empt state and local laws barring discrimination in hiring.

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