Bush reaches decisionon stem-cell research
WACO, Texas -- After months of deliberations, President Bush will announce his decision tonight on whether to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, a White House spokesman said.
Bush intends to disclose his decision in a nationally televised address to last eight to 10 minutes, administration spokesman Ari Fleischer said. Fleischer would not disclose the decision.
"The president wants to share the decision with the American people himself so they can see and hear why he came to the decision he came to," Fleischer said. "He wants to share this directly with the American people."
The setting for the address will be a house on Bush's ranch, where he is spending most of a monthlong working vacation.
The speech will be delivered at 9 p.m. EDT.
Bush has wrestled for months with whether to allow the funding. summoning a list of experts on the scientific, ethical and religious implications of the research.
He has insisted that political considerations were not part of his deliberations. But his decision is sure to please and disappoint crucial blocs of the electorate. For instance, Roman Catholic leaders, including Pope John Paul II, have strongly urged him to bar the funding.
Group calls for probeof 2000 elections
WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department should immediately investigate claims that the 2000 elections were unfair and violated people's civil rights, says a report being issued today by a panel of election administrators.
The new report focuses on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' June finding that black voters' ballots were disproportionately tossed out. "Allegations reported to the national Commission on Civil Rights during its hearings on Election 2000 are serious and must be investigated," the report said.
A Justice spokesman responded that complaints have been investigated as they came up ever since the election.
The new report was put together by a task force of about three dozen elections officials and sponsored by the Election Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit center created to help elections officials do their jobs.
Florida was won by Republican George Bush after the closest election in more than a century. The election was plagued with allegations that ballots were confusing and black voters were harassed at the polls.
Judge dismisses suitover trimmed tresses
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- Shelley Osborne had a bad hair day when she walked out of a J.C. Penney salon six years ago, but she won't be getting any compensation for her suffering.
A Johnson City Law Court on Wednesday dismissed Osborne's $10.5 million lawsuit against stylist Ginny Barbee, the salon and its owner, J.C. Penney.
Osborne, 37, claimed she was "ruined" after Barbee trimmed her waist-length hair and left her with locks just above the shoulders.
Osborne's psychiatrist testified the haircut affected the woman's intimacy with her husband and added to an existing case of depression.
"I just felt like some goon sitting there," she said, recalling the comments of another stylist in the shop about her dramatic new looks. "I was just ruined."
Barbee, who still works at the salon, said she was relieved by the verdict.
"I am so glad that she didn't win her case, otherwise, it would have opened up the door for many other hairstylists to have to go through what I've been through for the last five years," Barbee said. "And I wouldn't wish that on anyone."
Dalai Lama's successor
HONG KONG -- A senior Tibetan official says the Chinese government will decide on a successor for the Dalai Lama -- countering the spiritual leader's prediction that his reincarnation will be found outside China.
Raidi, the No. 2 leader of the Tibet branch of China's Communist Party, told Hong Kong journalists visiting the capital city Lhasa that the Dalai Lama's reincarnation would be chosen according to "historical customs and religious rituals."
The choice must then be confirmed "after being ratified by the central Chinese government," reports carried by the state-run Xinhua News Agency and several Hong Kong newspapers quoted Raidi as saying. Like many Tibetans, he uses only one name.
China's determination to control the selection of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, is part of Beijing's effort to tighten its grip on the region's people.
Beijing has been struggling to quell separatist sentiment since communist troops arrived in the Himalayan region in 1950.