In Washington Rumsfeld to seek veto of pared-down bill...

NATIONAL DIGEST

September 10, 2001

In Washington

Rumsfeld to seek veto of pared-down bill to fund missile defense

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday on Fox News Sunday that he would recommend that President Bush veto a military spending bill that cuts $1.3 billion from his request for missile defense and restricts testing.

Last week, the Democratic-led Senate Armed Services Committee voted along party lines to reduce by $1.3 billion Bush's request to increase missile defense funds by $3 billion, to $8.3 billion.

One day may have changed election, new book reports

A month after the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision that gave George W. Bush the presidency, dissenting Justice David Souter said he could have won over Justice Anthony Kennedy if given another day, according to a new book by a Newsweek reporter.

David A. Kaplan wrote in The Accidental President that Souter made the comment while discussing the matter in private with a group of prep school students.

Souter said if he had "one more day - one more day," he could have persuaded Kennedy to vote with the dissenters, and Congress might have been charged with handling the dispute.

Small-town Americans less healthy, study shows

Small-town Americans tend to smoke more, lose more teeth as they age and die sooner than suburban and many big-city residents, a government snapshot of the country's health shows.

Overall, Americans are healthier than they were 25 years ago, and an annual report to be released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers some reasons: fewer smokers, fewer people with hypertension and lower cholesterol levels.

But people who live in rural areas are not getting as much preventive care and medical treatment as other Americans. Long distances and the high rate of poverty among rural residents are two factors that make it tough to attract medical services.

In the Nation

Ford Explorer lawsuit set to open today in Texas

HOUSTON - Ford Motor Co. was set to go to trial today in a South Texas court after months of avoiding the courtroom by settling hundreds of lawsuits alleging its Explorer sport utility vehicle's design leads to tire failure and rollovers.

Jury selection was scheduled to start in a suit brought by the family of Margarita Gonzalez, who died July 13, 2000, after her 1998 Explorer equipped with Firestone tires suffered a tread separation and rolled over on a Texas highway.

The trial is expected to last two to four weeks in State District Judge Benjamin Euresti's court in Brownsville, in the southernmost tip of the state. Opening statements are expected this week.

No injuries, damage after minor earthquake

LOS ANGELES - An earthquake shook the greater Los Angeles area yesterday afternoon, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.2 and was centered about one mile southeast of West Hollywood, said Lucy Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake was felt in downtown Los Angeles for about four seconds.

Stanford professor buys strip clubs to aid research

SAN JOSE, Calif. - It's rare to hear the words Stanford and strip clubs in the same sentence.

But Stanford University cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Simon Stertzer has purchased two Las Vegas strip clubs with plans to use some of the proceeds to pay for medical research at the university.

A holding company headed by Stertzer, a full-time professor of medicine at Stanford Medical Center, recently bought the Palomino club and an adjoining strip club located along a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard.

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