Democrats flood race for president in 2004
President Bush might be riding high in the polls - but don't tell that to the Democratic Party. With 23 months left until Election Day, and Al Gore out of the race, the potential field of Democratic presidential candidates seems to be expanding almost hourly, suggesting that if nothing else, the party's primaries in 2004 will be lively and large.
Last week, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina jumped into the race, promising in a day-long round of interviews he would "champion the cause" of regular people, a constituency he said the White House had neglected.
He joined Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont and the Rev. Al Sharpton of New York in proclaiming his intention to run.
Within the next few days, watch Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut jump in the race by announcing that they, too, are forming presidential exploratory committees.
Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota (the majority leader soon to become minority leader) told aides last week that he is almost certain to run as well.
That's not all. Sens. Bob Graham of Florida, Joseph Biden of Delaware and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut all have said they are considering a run.
U.S. seeking support in N. Korea standoff
Diplomacy broke out all over in the standoff between the United States and North Korea over its outlaw nuclear weapons efforts. But as the Bush administration tried to line up support in Beijing, Moscow, Seoul and Tokyo, North Korea showed little interest in giving up the programs, which could yield nuclear bombs by springtime. The question hanging over Northeast Asia today is, will China use its leverage to persuade North Korea to change its mind.
Kenya ousts old party for opposition leader
Voters ousted the party that has ruled Kenya since independence in 1963, electing an opposition leader, Mwai Kibaki. Daniel arap Moi, who had ruled for 24 years, stepped down in accordance with the constitution. But his handpicked successor, Uhuru Kenyatta, was soundly defeated by Kibaki, who vowed to stamp out government corruption and revive the stagnant economy.
Gunman kills three Americans in Yemen
An assailant, identified by the authorities as Abed Abdel Razzak Kamel, smuggled a gun wrapped like a baby into a Yemen hospital run by Baptist missionaries in the town of Jibla, about 100 miles south of the capital, Sana, and killed three American workers. Kamel has been arrested.
Only two days before, a gunman killed a prominent secular politician, Jarallah Omar, 60, leader of the Yemeni Socialist Party, just after he gave a speech to the Islamic Isla party congress on the need to end the nation's culture of violence. The police arrested a man identified as a former mosque preacher, Ahmed Ali Jarallah, 26, in the attack. Authorities say that the attacks may be linked and that the two suspects appear to be part of a group of Islamic militants, led by Jarallah.
- Compiled by
The New York Times
Daniels predicts war cost at $50-60 billion
Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., the Bush administration's budget director, estimated that the cost of an Iraq war could be $50 billion to $60 billion, a figure similar to the cost of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The estimate was well below one by Lawrence B. Lindsey, President Bush's former chief economic adviser, who had said last fall that an Iraq war could cost $100 billion to $200 billion. Democrats said that Daniels was playing down the cost to make a war more politically palatable.
Clonaid claims second clone on the way
How many human clones are there in the world? Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, chief executive of Clonaid, says there will soon be two, with the impending birth of a second cloned baby in Europe. Almost everyone else says zero. Clonaid, founded by the leader of a religious sect that believes aliens created life on Earth, has backed away from a promise to allow genetic testing of a baby born Dec. 26 that Clonaid says is a clone of her American mother.
States challenge air pollution laws
No sooner had the Bush administration published new rules on air pollution on New Year's Eve than nine Northeastern states rushed into federal court to challenge them. The states, which claim they are longtime victims of smog and acid raid that drift eastward from Midwest power plants, said their action was necessary because the administration was making the first major assault on the Clean Air Act since it was signed by President Richard M. Nixon 33 years ago.
Winnick resigns from Global Crossing
Gary Winnick resigned as chairman of Global Crossing after amassing a fortune by selling its stock before the company collapsed into bankruptcy a year ago. Winnick, a Los Angeles financier who made more than $730 million from deals involving company stock, recently created a $25 million fund to compensate employees who lost money in the company's retirement plan. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating accounting practices at the once high-flying telecommunications company.
Water agencies miss deadline
Water supplies to Southern California from the Colorado River were reduced by the Bush administration after several water agencies failed to meet a federal deadline on Dec. 31. The agencies were supposed to approve a deal that would transfer water from farms in the Imperial Valley to cities in San Diego County, but last-minute demands by the farmers blocked an agreement. The cutback is the first time the Interior Department has intervened to prevent California from taking more than its standard allotment from the river.
FBI seeks help in finding men
An alert issued by the FBI provided a weeklong lesson in the difficulties of gauging the seriousness of threats in the world. The bureau was seeking help in identifying five Middle Eastern men who were believed to have entered the United States illegally around Christmastime. Was it a serious terrorist threat, or an immigration scam? Or a false lead? Officials made it clear that they didn't know but were exercising an abundance of caution. By week's end, no one was sure whether the men had even entered the country.
Record year recorded at box offices
Led by "Spider-Man" and bolstered at year's end by "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," 2002 proved to be a record year at the box office. An estimated $9.3 billion flowed into the nation's cinemas, breaking the previous year's record by 11 percent. More stirring to Hollywood's blood was that even factoring in higher prices, more actual tickets were sold than at any time since the late 1950s - nearly 1.6 billion.
Guggenheim proposal withdrawn
Two years ago, when it was first proposed, it was hard to believe anything as fantastic as Frank Gehry's cloud-shaped, titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum could ever be built on Lower Manhattan's waterfront. Last week, the $950 million fantasy met the reality of a weak economy and the museum's financial straits. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation withdrew the proposal.
Tyco admits inflating earnings
Tyco International admitted for the first time that it had used financial gimmickry to inflate its earnings under its former chief executive, L. Dennis Kozlowski, who has been charged with looting the company of hundreds of millions of dollars. Despite acknowledging that the company pushed the rules of accounting - employees at one division were directed in a memorandum to find cost savings by "financial engineering" - internal investigators still said that they had not uncovered "systemic or significant fraud" that had fundamentally damaged the company.
Study shows increase in autism
The largest U.S. study on prevalence rates of autism agrees with recent international studies: Autism appears to be 10 times more common today than it was just 10 years ago. At least 425,000 American children under 18 have some form of autism, including 114,000 children under age 5. No one knows what is causing the increase, although some of it may be due to changes in how the disorder is defined.
Congress returns with new Senate leader
Republicans will return in muted triumph this week to take control of both houses of Congress, chastened by the fall of former Republican Senate leader Trent Lott. Members say his replacement, Bill Frist of Tennessee, will need several weeks to gain his footing, but after President Bush's State of the Union address later this month, he and House leaders are expected to push strongly for the administration's package of tax cuts and restructuring of Medicare. Democrats plan their own economic stimulus plan, and partisan battles are expected over Republican plans to limit abortion rights, to restrict legal damage awards and to drill for oil in Alaska.
Voter News Service to meet, decide fate
The troubled life of the Voter News Service, the consortium of the major television networks and The Associated Press that projects the winners of elections and analyzes the vote, could come to an end as early as Monday, when the partners are to meet. Some members have said they may decide to dissolve the consortium, but they have also said that they could start from scratch on a new system, which they hope would not reprise past embarrassments, like twice miscalling the results in Florida in the presidential election of 2000.