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Gore lashes out at Bush over economic policy



Published: Sun, February 3, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Gore lashes out at Bushover economic policy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Former Vice President Al Gore criticized President Bush's handling of the economy in a speech Saturday night that marked what he called a return to "the national debate."

"It is now clear that our nation's economic policy is simply not working, especially for those who most depend on its success," Gore said in prepared remarks.

"We need a government that lives within its means, invests in the American people and supports tax cuts that are fair and go to those who need them," he said.

"What we don't need is a government whose budget is based on inaccurate assumptions, and whose priorities provide special favors for the few over the many."

Gore also called for better protection of the environment and campaign finance reform -- indirectly criticizing the administration's link to the Enron scandal when he said, "recent events have made it clear this reform is needed more than ever."

Gore did not say whether he'll run against Bush in 2004 and reiterated his support for the president's handling of the war on terrorism. He told a $25-a-person fund-raiser at a downtown hotel that "it is time for the American people to look at the state of our country and decide the course we will take."

New testing orderedon Columbine bullet

LITTLETON, Colo. -- Sheriff's officials said they would test a bullet found in the backpack of one of the students killed in the Columbine High School massacre after acknowledging that it hadn't been matched to a specific weapon.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department initially said ballistics tests proved that officers who shot into the school library during the April 20, 1999, attack didn't fire the bullet found in a notebook in Corey DePooter's backpack.

On Friday, department spokesman Jim Shires said officials recently realized that the bullet hadn't been tested against all the weapons used at the scene, including weapons fired by the two gunmen, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

Ballistics tests did determine that two slugs lodged in DePooter's chest came from Harris' gun. Harris and Klebold killed 13 people before committing suicide.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation expects it to take about a day to determine who fired the bullet. It wasn't clear when the test would be conducted.

Police find stolen truckin search for inmates

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A truck believed to have been stolen by four Texas jail escapees was found at a state park Saturday.

Investigators were checking the vehicle for fingerprints and other evidence as they continued searching for the fugitives, said Richard Goss, an inspector with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

The flatbed truck was reported missing on Friday from a residence in Jefferson County, and was found Saturday morning at Lake Murray State Park in adjacent Carter County, about 40 miles away, Goss said.

A .22-caliber revolver also was taken from the Jefferson County home near Terral, which is across the Red River from Texas.

All the fugitives are from the region. Authorities identified them as Curtis Gambill, 24, of Terral; Joshua Bagwell, 23, of Waurika; and Chrystal Gale Soto, 22, and Charles Jordan, 30, both of Bowie, Texas.

Bagwell and Gambill were serving life sentences for the 1996 shotgun killing of an Oklahoma high school cheerleader. The others were awaiting trial on charges of murdering an elderly couple.

They fled the Montague County, Texas, jail on Monday after two of them overpowered a guard with a homemade knife.

Dramatic rescue

LONDON -- British fliers carried off a daring rescue mission Saturday, venturing out over 30-foot seas in high winds to lift 18 sailors from a fishing trawler stranded off the coast of Scotland.

The Royal Air Force said the ship's French captain was missing, believed to have been washed overboard Friday.

The French-registered, Spanish-owned ship Le Perrain, drifting without power about 250 miles northwest of the Outer Hebrides islands, sent a distress call at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The ship was tossed by powerful waves and battered by winds of up to 70 mph. Heavy rains and gales have pounded parts of Britain for days, causing severe flooding in some areas.

RAF Nimrod reconnaissance planes kept watch over the ship as helicopters ventured as far from land as they can safely go to winch the crew to safety at 9:30 a.m.

Another fishing vessel had pulled alongside the Perrain earlier, but was unable to get close enough to pull its crew off.




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