- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2002

Bush's GOP selection to stop being lobbyist
Marc Racicot, President Bush's choice to head the Republican Party, said yesterday he will cease being a lobbyist to quiet criticism surrounding his selection.
Critics had said his dual role would give Mr. Racicot's clients special access to congressional and White House officials. The former Montana governor said he has heeded the criticism.
Mr. Racicot, chosen by Mr. Bush on Dec. 5, said at the time he would continue lobbying for a Washington law firm while serving the Republican National Committee for free. Mr. Bush's choice must be approved by committee members later this month.

Democrats set record for fund-raising in 2001
Three national Democratic committees raised record amounts last year despite halting fund-raising for nearly a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The Democratic National Committee took in $46.5 million and paid off $5 million in debts it had at the beginning of 2001, Chairman Terry McAuliffe told party lawmakers in a letter released yesterday. The committee raised about $40 million in 1999, the last non-election year.

Afghan-American leader killed in California
FREMONT, Calif. An Afghan-American community leader in California's "Little Kabul" was fatally shot at his popular travel agency in a slaying apparently sparked by a romantic affair gone bad, police said yesterday.
Rahim Ansari, 34, of Union City, Calif., was pronounced dead at the scene of Tuesday's shooting in Fremont, a San Francisco-area suburb known as a center for the Afghan-American community.
Police said the suspect, identified as 30-year-old Khojai Shujai, also of Union City, later surrendered to police and was being held on charges of murder and attempted murder.

U.S. lifts ban on arms sales
The United States lifted a blanket ban on arms sales to Tajikistan and Yugoslavia yesterday in recognition of the recent improvement in relations with the governments of the two countries.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Tajikistan was off the list because it had been cooperating since September with the United States' war against terrorism.
"In the case of Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia has been cooperating with the International War Crimes Tribunal, the U.N. embargo has been lifted and we're working to normalize our bilateral relationship," he said.

Study: Many gays had skin virus before AIDS
SAN FRANCISCO A virus thought to cause Kaposi's sarcoma, the disfiguring skin disease that became the signature of AIDS in the 1980s, was present in a quarter of all homosexual men in San Francisco in 1978, predating the AIDS virus, University of California researchers say.
The new findings the results of screening tests conducted on hundreds of blood samples stored since 1978 were published yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The outbreak probably was caused when HIV eroded the immune systems of men who already had the virus, causing the relatively harmless microbe to blossom into a killer that left purple lesions on skin and fatally invaded throats and lungs.

Bush backs restoring of food stamps
The Bush administration, seeking to reverse part of the 1996 welfare overhaul, yesterday proposed to restore food-stamp benefits to 363,000 legal immigrants who have lived in the country for at least five years.
Under current rules, adult immigrants must have worked in the country for at least 10 years or be refugees or members of the military to qualify for benefits. There is no work requirement in the White House proposal, which will be part of President Bush's 2003 budget.
The administration's plan would cost $2.1 billion over 10 years.

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