CIVIL-RIGHTS BILL PASSES
WASHINGTON - A House subcommittee today approved a civil-rights bill, with Democrats focusing heavily on its benefits for women, a strategy aimed at blunting charges that passage would lead to quotas in hiring. The House Education and Labor Committee was expected to approve it later in the day. The bill is similar to one President Bush vetoed last year, when he argued it would lead to quotas in the hiring and promotion - a point civil-rights leaders dispute. The bill passed the House and Senate last year with large majorities but short of enough to override the veto.
PRESIDENT STUMPS FOR CRIME BILL
WASHINGTON - President Bush yesterday called on the Democratic Congress to honor the nation's veterans by giving them ``an America where it is safe to walk on the streets.'' The major elements of the legislation include reviving the federal death penalty to cover a broader range of crimes from serious drug offenses, to treason, espionage and certain terrorist acts; altering court rules that ban illegally seized evidence to allow such evidence at trial if police acted in ``good faith'' in seizing it; and an effort to limit the number of appeals convicted federal prisoners can file.
FLAMING CARGO PLANE ABORTS TAKEOFF
NEW YORK - A cargo plane's takeoff was aborted and it erupted in flames at Kennedy International Airport today, an airport spokesman
said. The six people aboard escaped injury. The crew of the Air Transport International DC-8 aborted its takeoff midway down the runway, said Port Authority spokesman Mark Marchese. ``The plane was smoking . . . It came to a stop and burst into flames,'' he said. The airport was closed for 2 1/2 hours while crews battled the fire, said another spokesman, Armando Arrastia.
NORIEGA DEFENDANT ASKS JUDGE FOR AID
MIAMI - A federal judge criticized prison treatment for a Manuel Noriega co-defendant kept in solitary confinement and clad only in his undershorts over a cold weekend. William Saldarriaga, 46, asked U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler for help yesterday during a break in his trial. The judge called the treatment ``outrageous'' and demanded prosecutors tell that to the warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
MULTIPLE-PERSONALITY DEFENSE FAILS
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A jury, rejecting a Lowell, Mass., woman's claim that she had up to eight personalities, found her guilty of heroin dealing. Lawyers for Norma Roman Valentin, 39, used the defense that she was not responsible because one of her alternate personalities, when in control, dealt drugs despite the wishes of the other personalities.
ARIZONA POLITICIAN PLEADS GUILTY
PHOENIX - A second lawmaker pleaded guilty today to reduced charges in a political corruption probe. Under the plea bargain, state Rep. James Hartdegen admitted to three campaign-related misdemeanors in exchange for dismissal of felony charges of money laundering, bribery and conspiracy to participate in a crime.