In WashingtonRubin says tax cut proposed by GOP threatens...

National Digest

May 17, 1999

In Washington

Rubin says tax cut proposed by GOP threatens economy

Departing Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin said yesterday that that a Republican push for a major tax cut could sidetrack the nation from what he predicted would be sustained economic growth and low inflation.

Rubin, who will step down in July, said the budget surplus gives the nation a "historic opportunity" to ensure the long-term U.S. economic health.

"If instead we have a broad-based tax cut, we can consume that surplus [and] throw away an enormous opportunity to promote our economic well-being for a long time to come," he said.

House panel chairman decries Chinese espionage

The head of a House committee investigating reports of Chinese espionage said yesterday that China's nuclear weapons program has benefited directly from the theft of U.S. secrets.

Rep. Christopher Cox, a California Republican, said his committee's report on Chinese efforts to obtain American technology will be "of such gravity that it needs the top attention of policy-makers in Congress and the executive branch."

The report of his select House committee is expected to be made public soon after months of struggling with the administration over what should remain classified.

GOP leader concedes `over-passion' on effort

The House's third-ranking Republican, warned by the House ethics committee about letting party politics dictate official actions, said yesterday that he was "over-passionate" in his effort to stop an industry group from hiring a Democrat as its president.

"Sometimes I get a little over-passionate in my desire to get things done," Rep. Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican, said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Sometimes I say things I shouldn't say and the ethics committee reminded me."

In the Nation

Tornadoes kill two, destroy homes in Iowa

LOGAN, Iowa -- Tornadoes swept through western Iowa yesterday, killing two people and injuring at least 14, authorities said.

Names of those who died have not been released pending notification of relatives, said Jim Seymour, a hospital administrator.

A tornado which developed in Harrison County near Logan about 4 p.m. yesterday destroyed six homes, damaged several others and destroyed a bridge on a rural gravel road, authorities said. U.S. Highway 30 and Iowa Highway 127 were closed due to extensive damage reported in the area, including downed trees and power lines.

Logan is about 20 miles northeast of Omaha, Neb.

At least 10 west-central and central Iowa counties were under tornado warnings yesterday afternoon and evening as a cell of thunderstorms worked its way across the state.

U S West expected to buy Bermuda company

NEW YORK -- Baby Bell phone company U S West Inc. has reached an agreement to merge with growing telecommunications company Global Crossing Ltd., according to a source close to the negotiations.

Under the deal, which will be announced this morning, U S West will purchase 9.5 percent of Global Crossing for roughly $2.4 billion, the source said.

U S West, based in Denver, has local phone customers in 14 Western and Midwestern states. Global Crossing, headquartered in Bermuda, offers local and long-distance phone service.

Mich. schools to reopen after foiling plot

PORT HURON, Mich. -- A school district where police say they foiled a plot by four middle school students for a mass-murder rampage like that at Colorado's Columbine High School tentatively plans to resume classes today.

Port Huron school officials and police said they quickly decided to close all 21 schools Friday after discovering the plot by four students at Holland Woods Middle School.

"With over 30 years in education I have never been involved in a situation this disruptive to the educational process," Superintendent Bill Kimball said. "There is tremendous fear on the part of the student body."

Jefferson descendants appoint research committee

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- At an emotional and at times rancorous meeting, descendants of Thomas and Martha Jefferson yesterday refused to let relatives of his slave Sally Hemings join the family association.

The Monticello Association also blocked a vote to give the relatives of Jefferson's alleged mistress honorary membership while a paternity claim is researched.

The Monticello Association appointed a committee to do further research into the paternity claim and deliver a report before the next annual meeting. The group also allowed Hemings' descendants inside the hotel ballroom for the membership debate.

Longtime Clinton friend to go on trial over funding

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie, a longtime friend of President Clinton accused of funneling illegal contributions to Democrats, goes on trial here today on a charge that he hid documents from a Senate investigation into political fund raising.

Trie, a former Little Rock restaurateur, is accused of obstructing justice by ordering an employee to destroy documents subpoenaed in 1997 by a federal grand jury and by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

Hoffa rally celebrates anniversary of election

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- James P. Hoffa, celebrating his one-year anniversary as the head of the 1.4 million-member Teamsters union, held a rally for more than 1,000 Midwest members yesterday.

Hoffa, the 57-year-old son of the late James R. Hoffa, the Teamsters leader who mysteriously disappeared 24 years ago, has held similar bashes in Washington and Dallas. He will hold another one next weekend in Los Angeles.

Deer-kill traffic report leads to homicide charge

DECATUR, Ga. -- A man who told police he hit a deer while driving home was charged with vehicular homicide when authorities found a man's body on a road near the driver's home

James Edward Roberson, 38, called police Saturday morning to tell them he had hit the animal while driving home from a bowling alley the night before.

Pub Date: 5/17/99

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