- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 11, 2001

House to consider budget cuts

The House Budget Committee today will consider legislation that would cut spending in fiscal 2002 to make up for amounts borrowed from the Social Security surplus in fiscal 2001.

The idea was conceived by committee chairman Rep. Jim Nussle, Iowa Republican, and got the green light last night from House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican.

The measure, similar to the current law "sequester," would impose across-the-board cuts on most discretionary programs, but would not reduce Social Security, Medicare or other entitlement programs.

Racial profiling studyvoluntary for police

The Justice Department soon will begin a study of racial profiling at local police departments but won't force police to participate, the Bush administration's civil rights chief said yesterday.

Assistant Attorney General Ralph Boyd said a study of whether police are singling out people for traffic stops based on their race should be voluntary — something critics say will create a major loophole and weaken the study.

Mr. Boyd said making the study voluntary will foster trust between the department and local law enforcement agencies.

The White House has made ending racial profiling a priority and has put the Justice Department in charge of studying and cracking down on the problem.

CNN bureau chief in Washington resigns

NEW YORK — Frank Sesno is stepping down as CNN's Washington bureau chief, becoming the latest executive to leave the news channel as it undergoes a top-to-bottom makeover.

Mr. Sesno, who had been with CNN since 1984, said yesterday that his contract was coming up for renewal in mid-October and he wanted to pursue a different career.

Bush daughter finishes community service

AUSTIN, Texas — One of President Bush's twin 19-year-old daughters successfully completed her sentence for an underage drinking charge, leading a Texas court to dismiss the case yesterday.

Barbara Bush had been ordered to finish eight hours of community service and attend an alcohol awareness class after pleading no contest in June to a charge of being a minor in possession of alcohol.

Because she completed the requirements of her sentence by a Sept. 7 deadline, the case was dismissed, Austin Municipal Courts spokeswoman Patty Gonzales said. "It's like it never happened," Miss Gonzales said.

Barbara, a student at Yale University, and sister Jenna both were charged last spring with misdemeanor underage drinking.

Bush, Putin discuss upcoming summit

President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin look forward to their upcoming talks in China and the United States, the White House said yesterday, quelling doubts over whether the U.S. meeting would occur.

National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack said Mr. Bush and Mr. Putin spoke by telephone for 10 minutes, expressing their intent to act on issues including the proposed U.S. missile defense system.

"The two presidents reaffirmed their intent to move forward with a new constructive relationship with progress on issues across the U.S.-Russian agenda, including strategic relations," Mr. McCormack said.

"They said they both looked forward to productive exchanges at their upcoming meeting in Shanghai in October and in the United States in November."

High-level U.S. and Russian military officials are to meet today in Moscow to discuss the U.S. missile shield in detail. The head of Russia's air force said Russia might be forced to beef up the strike power of its long-range bombers if the United States abandons the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Appeals court halts Mexican's execution

OKLAHOMA CITY — A state appeals court yesterday ordered an indefinite halt to the execution of a Mexican national whose case drew appeals from Mexican President Vicente Fox.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals said Gerardo Valdez's latest appeal raised questions about whether his rights were violated under the Vienna Convention.

Attorneys are seeking a new trial for Valdez, 41.

The international court held that the execution violated the Vienna Convention because the brothers were not given the right to contact their counsel after their arrest.

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