- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 20, 2002

Kidnapped man expected home
HARVEST, Ala. A man who said he was kidnapped, tortured and then released by a warlord in Afghanistan could be back home by Tuesday, his wife says, but questions about his trip and his background will have to wait until then.
Clark Bowers is eager to answer questions after he's had some rest, Amanda Bowers told the Huntsville Times.
"I think we've been thrown on the defensive on things that frankly I don't think are anybody else's business," Mrs. Bowers said in the Times editions published yesterday.
Questions have been raised about why Mr. Bowers was in Afghanistan, the details of his travels and his claimed relationship with Ronald Reagan's 1984 presidential campaign.
Mr. Bowers, well-known in some conservative political circles, called his family early Friday from a hotel in Pakistan and said he had been released after he was tortured with burning cigarettes and subjected to a mock execution, his wife said.
He told the Birmingham News that he could not elaborate on many details of his ordeal but said he was freed after $5,000 in ransom was paid.

Ex-journalist leads in mayoral race
DALLAS Former newspaper columnist and current Councilwoman Laura Miller was leading yesterday's heated mayoral race with votes from 65 percent of precincts counted.
Miss Miller held 49.1 percent of the vote in early results, ahead of businessman Tom Dunning's 39.4 percent and Democratic state Rep. Domingo Garcia's 8.8 percent. Early results accounted for about 18.9 percent of registered voters.
If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in yesterday's nonpartisan election, the top two will go into a runoff election Feb. 16.

Hillary heads study of ground zero air
NEW YORK Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman will hold a hearing next month examining the quality of air at ground zero and its effect on the thousands who have breathed it.
Mrs. Clinton said yesterday that the Feb. 11 hearing in New York will be chaired by Mr. Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, who serves with Mrs. Clinton on the Environment and Public Works committee.
Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, workers at the trade center and neighborhood residents have developed respiratory problems, including the so-called "World Trade Center cough" and various other symptoms from shortness of breath to wheezing.

Democrats pledge unity on war
Democrats pledged yesterday that election-year fights with Republicans on issues ranging from the economy to health care would not prevent cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
"Our troops are not fighting for the Democratic Party or the Republican Party," House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt told cheering Democrats at their winter meeting. "They're fighting for the United States of America."
Both Mr. Gephardt and national chairman Terry McAuliffe told the Democratic National Committee that a bipartisan approach to the war on terrorism is crucial in an election year.
The Democratic Party also decided yesterday to allow states to hold their presidential nominating contests more than a month earlier in 2004 than in 2000 to follow the Republicans' front-loaded schedule.

New Jersey governor moves speech
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. Gov. James E. McGreevey, a Roman Catholic who supports abortion rights, moved his first public town hall meeting from a Catholic university after abortion opponents objected to his plans. Mr. McGreevey said the meeting scheduled Tuesday at Seton Hall University would be held instead at Montclair State University.
Abortion opponents were angered not only because Mr. McGreevey planned the town hall meeting at the school, but also because it was scheduled on the 29th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized abortion.

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