YouTube debate for GOP looks uncertain
Plans for a CNN/YouTube debate for the Republican presidential candidates seemed uncertain Thursday after one of the front-runners, Rudy...
WASHINGTON — Plans for a CNN/YouTube debate for the Republican presidential candidates seemed uncertain Thursday after one of the front-runners, Rudy Giuliani, said a scheduling conflict would keep him away from the Sept. 17 event.
Formal invitations went out Thursday. The GOP debate would follow Monday's forum for Democratic candidates, at which questions were asked by often-frank, sometimes-wacky online users, including a cartoon snowman worried about global warming.
Sen. John McCain, who is struggling in the polls, immediately agreed to go when the date was first floated last Friday. But rival Mitt Romney was cool to the forum's format.
"I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman," Romney told The Manchester Union Leader.
Alaska senator to sell land after criticism
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said Thursday that she and her husband will sell a plot of riverfront property on the Kenai Peninsula, south of Anchorage, one day after a complaint to the Senate ethics committee about the purchase.
"While Verne and I intended to make this our family home and we paid a fair price for this land, no property is worth compromising the trust of the Alaskan people," Murkowski said in a statement.
Murkowski said the vacant lot would be sold back to real-estate developer Bob Penney, the friend from whom she and her husband, Verne Martell, had bought it. Penney sold the land for $179,400; real-estate agents said it was worth as much as $350,000.
Senate OKs package of security measures
The Senate on Thursday night approved a package of security measures recommended by the Sept. 11 Commission, shifting more federal money to high-risk states and cities and requiring more stringent screening of air and sea cargo.
The measure passed by a 85-8 vote. The House was expected to pass the bill as early as today.
The White House has expressed opposition to several provisions in the bill, particularly a requirement that within five years all ship containers be scanned for nuclear devices before they leave foreign ports for the United States, but it has not issued a veto threat.
The administration has questioned the feasibility of installing radiation monitoring equipment in more than 600 foreign ports. To soften opposition, the bill's authors gave the Homeland Security secretary authority to delay implementation in two-year increments if needed. The bill also requires the screening of all cargo on passenger aircraft within three years.
House defies Bush on spending measure
Defying a veto threat from President Bush, the House on Thursday approved legislation that would increase funding for space and science programs, local crime fighters and the FBI.
The $53.8 billion measure funding the departments of Commerce and Justice passed the House by a 281-142 vote, not enough to override a promised Bush veto. But the tally belied wide support for programs financed by the measure, including anti-crime grants for state and local governments, the administration's initiative boosting basic science research and teaching, as well as the FBI and anti-drug programs.
The differences between Bush and Congress involve $23 billion in funding added to Bush's $433 billion request for nondefense programs as well as $3.5 billion shifted by Democrats from the Pentagon to domestic programs.
Seattle Times news services
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 10:01 AM
Rebels tighten hold on Libya oil port
UPDATE - 09:29 AM
Reality leads US to temper its tough talk on Libya
UPDATE - 09:38 AM
2 Ark. injection wells may be closed amid quakes
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.