- The Washington Times - Friday, February 8, 2002

Senate OKs food stamps for legal immigrants

The U.S. Senate voted yesterday to restore food stamp benefits to legal immigrants who have been in the country for five years, a move that will affect 260,000 people.

Access to the program, which helps the poor buy food, was denied to immigrants under the 1996 Welfare Reform Law. Some 17.3 million Americans are enrolled in the program, estimated to cost about $19 billion this year.

Mr. Bush proposed this restoration in his budget released Monday. Senators approved it, 96-1, as an amendment to a $45 billion farm policy bill.

No life sentencesfor shoplifting

SAN FRANCISCO In an attack on California's three-strikes law, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday that life in prison for shoplifting is cruel and unusual punishment.

The ruling was issued by a three-judge panel of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Three months ago, a different three-judge panel from the same circuit ruled that the 1994 three-strikes law could produce unconstitutionally cruel and unusual sentences. The court overturned a 50-year-to-life term for a shoplifter.

That was the first time any court declared unconstitutional a sentence imposed under the law.

21 killed themselves under suicide law

Doctors prescribed lethal doses of medicine to 44 terminally ill persons under Oregon's assisted-suicide law last year, and 21 of the recipients took their own lives.

Overall, at least 91 persons have ended their lives under the care of doctors since the state's unique Death With Dignity Act took effect in 1997, according to a report in New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

The law is the subject of an ongoing court battle.

Cheney attends fund-raiser, visits troops

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Vice President Richard B. Cheney said yesterday that increases for defense spending proposed in President Bush's budget are vital for the future security of the United States.

"The only way we can be secure is to go destroy the terrorists before they can strike us," Mr. Cheney told the crowd at a fund-raiser in downtown Louisville for Rep. Anne M. Northup, Kentucky Republican. Mr. Cheney was to travel from Louisville to Fort Campbell.

Three Marines killed in training accident

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. Three Marines were killed and five injured when the truck they were riding in during a training exercise overturned, a Marine Corps spokesman said.

The 5-ton truck rolled over at 5:50 p.m. on Wednesday while an artillery unit was practicing moving from one location to another at the base, about 40 miles north of San Diego, Maj. Curtis Hill said yesterday.

The names of the Marines were withheld pending family notification.

Fertility procedures on the rise

ATLANTA Fertility procedures in the United States jumped 27 percent in two years, according to government researchers who said they are worried about the risks involved for mothers and children.

Procedures increased from 64,724 in 1996 to 81,899 in 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday in its first comprehensive look at assisted reproductive technology.

CDC doctors declined to say why the popularity of the procedures is growing so quickly, but other specialists attributed it to older couples trying to have children and a population developing more confidence in fertility technology.

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