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News In Brief

By Compiled from wire service reportsRobert Kilborn and Judy Nichols / February 9, 2001



President Bush formally sent his $1.6 trillion, 10-year tax-cut proposal to Congress. It would reduce income-tax rates, ease the so-called marriage penalty, phase out the estate tax, and boost incentives for charitable contributions. Although Democrats have warmed up to some of those ideas, many of them say the measure is too big and is weighted too heavily toward the wealthy.

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Authorities were weighing whether to charge Robert Pickett, who allegedly fired several shots outside the White House Wednesday, with violating the city's ban on handguns or assaulting a federal officer. Pickett, of Evansville, Ind. - who, contrary to some initial reports, is middle-aged - had no criminal record. But he reportedly has a history of mental illness and clashes with the Internal Revenue Service, which fired him in the mid-1980s. Wednesday's incident, which ended with a Secret Service officer shooting Pickett in one leg, rekindled debate over whether Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House should be reopened to vehicular traffic.

A $1.4 billion laboratory was on its way to the International Space Station after the shuttle Atlantis lifted off Wednesday from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The module, named Destiny, is the single most expensive piece of the space station and will remain under construction in orbit until at least 2006. Installation is to begin tomorrow.

With the UN's chief congressional nemesis satisfied that it is addressing his concerns, the Senate voted 99 to 0 to release $582 million in back dues owed the world organization. The vote came after Sen. Jesse Helms (R) of North Carolina exchanged visits last year with members of the Security Council, partially to discuss the US share of the UN budget. The General Assembly then struck a deal on the matter last December. The legislation still must be passed by the House.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, who died Wednesday in rural Vermont, co-piloted with husband Charles Lindbergh and wrote 13 books including "The Gift From the Sea." In 1930 she became the first American woman to win a glider pilot's license, and in 1934 the National Geographic Society made her the first female recipient of the Hubbard Gold Medal for distinction in exploration, research, and discovery.

Dale Evans, who died Wednesday in Apple Valley, Calif., was known as the "Queen of the West" in an entertainment career alongside her husband of five decades, Roy Rogers. In 1951, she wrote "Happy Trails to You," which became the couple's theme song. In addition to appearing with Rogers in 35 movies, Evans wrote more than 20 books and was active in Christian evangelism.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society