2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 6, 2001
WASHINGTON (AP) - Mexican President
Vicente Fox, the first state visitor of the Bush presi-
dency, challenged the United States yesterday to
strike an agreement on immigration reform by the
end of the year. President Bush said "there is no
more important relationship" than Mexico's but did
not embrace Fox's ambitious deadline.
The public challenge surprised U.S. officials who
have been trying to lower expectations for a deal on
the complex and politically risky issue. Even some
Mexican officials said they had no notice that Fox
would push for quick action.
,.S. for immigration
The two-day state visit, important to both Bush along with his and F
and Fox, began promptly at 9 a.m. EDT when a --- amounted to a"
military band struck up a Sousa march and the two States has no more
presidents strolled shoulder to shoulder onto the world."
White House back lawn. Military honor guards With all the page
stood stone-faced as their battle ribbons, jostled Bush welcomed Fox
atop flag poles by a cool wind, whipped at their Blanca" and said,"
faces. nations must work to
Bush, hoping to court Hispanic voters for his common purpose to
2004 re-election bid, said Wednesday's formal wel- challenges on the iss
coming ceremony, one-on-one Oval Office session, citizens, including
rare joint Cabinet meeting and state dinner - drugs, crime, corrupt
ox's joint trip Thursday to Ohio
"recognition that the United
important relationship in the
antry a president can muster,
to what he called the "Casa
'We understand that our two
gether in a spirit of respect and
seize opportunities and tackle
ues that affect the lives of our
migration, the environment,
ion and education."
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House GOP calls for capital gains cuts
Top congressional Republicans called yesterday for new legislation to stimu-
late the economy, including cuts in the capital gains tax rate despite President
Bush's desire to delay such an effort.
, The GOP split emerged as Republicans stepped up efforts to combat Democ-
ratic claims that this year's tax cut was so costly that, unless savings are found, it
could force the use of Social Security surpluses to pay for defense, education
and other increases that both sides support.
A day after Bush said he preferred to wait until next year to see if the $1.35
trillion, 10-year tax cut enacted this year was bolstering the flagging economy,
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said he wanted to pursue a capital
gains tax cut this fall anyway. He said it could be attached to a minimum wage
boost that Democrats want or other legislation.
And House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) emerged from a White House meet-
ing with Bush to say action on a capital-gains tax reduction was still possible this
year. "It's saying, 'What else can we do to keep this economy going and to grow the
economy,"' Hastert told reporters. "And that's what we're interested in doing."
In addition, House Majority Leader Dick Arrey (R-Texas) and Sen. Pete
Domenici (R-N.M.) came out for a fresh effort to revive the economy.
Most stem cell colonies may not be viable
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson acknowledged yes-
terday that almost two-thirds of the 64 stem cell colonies approved for federal
funding by the Bush administration were only recently derived from embryos,
and their usefulness to scientists hasn't yet been proven.
Thompson, testifying before a Senate committee, stressed that the two dozen
colonies ready for laboratories now are sufficient to conduct extensive basic
research into the still-untested promise of stem cell science.
"We're confident there are enough and we're confident the private sector will
fill the voids where there are any voids," he said, predicting that more of the 64
will be ready by the time federal grants are awarded early next year.
But Thompson's comments represented the first time a high-ranking adminis-
tration official conceded that not all the cell colonies eligible for funding are as
"robust" as initially advertised. That could give fuel to critics who say Bush has
tied scientists' hands by placing too stringent restrictions on federal research.
Work on stem cells is controversial because they're derived from days-old human
embryos - usually left over at fertility clinics - that are destroyed in the process.
BELFAST, Northern Ireland
Grenade injures 2
officers near school
Schoolgirls screamed and their par-
ents ducked after Protestant extremists
hurled a homemade grenade at them
yesterday, the third day of a hate-
fueled confrontation outside a Catholic
elementary school in Northern Ireland.
Two police officers were knocked to
the ground by the blast; one suffered
shrapnel wounds in his legs, authori-
ties said. Three Protestant militants
were arrested in connection with the
"It was awful that a policeman was
hit, but it could have been one of those
little girls. That has been my fear all
along," said the Rev. Aidan Troy, gov-.
ernor of the besieged school in the!
north Belfast neighborhood of
The girls were walking with police
and their parents through a Protestant
neighborhood for a third day of classes
at Holy Cross Primary School.
Terry Nichols could
be sentenced to die
Ending months of speculation over
whether he would drop the case, the new
district attorney in Oklahoma City said
yesterday that he will prosecute bombing
conspirator Terry Nichols on state mur-
der charges that could bring the death
penalty. District Attorney Wes Lane said
he will pursue the 160 first-degree mur-
der counts brought by his predecessor.
"Accountability with the laws of
Oklahoma demand that we stay the
course," Lane said at the site of the -
1995 bombing that killed 168 people.
Nichols was convicted in federal
court of conspiracy and involuntary
manslaughter and is serving a life sen- 4
tence, But he has appealed, and Lane
said he wants to make sure Nichols
does not escape punishment.
"I simply do not know what might
loom out there on the legal horizon
which would place Terry Nichols' fed-
eral conviction in jeopardy," he said.
workers hid returns
Employees at an IRS processing
center run by Mellon Bank hid thou-
sands of tax returns or put them with
papers to be shredded apparently
because they couldn't keep.up with the
workload, Mellon's chairman says.
At least 40,000 federal tax returns
and payments totaling $810 million
were either lost or destroyed at the
Pittsburgh center, which handled docu-
ments sent by taxpayers in New Eng-
land and parts of New York state.
The scope of the problem was dis-
closed last week by Senate Finance
Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-
Mont.), who said it could take months to.
determine all the details. A federal
investigation has begun. Last month,
Mellon lost its contract to run the Pitts-
burgh IRS Processing Unit because of
what bank chairman Martin McGuinn
called "gross disregard" and the failure
by employees to follow company policy.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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