President Bush's first State of the Union address won general praise among politicians and constituents alike. His vow to pursue tens of thousands of Al Qaeda-trained terrorists "wherever they are," while taking steps to revive the economy made Alice Atoui, a worker at Boston's Logan airport, feel "like you've got people to hold your hand as you step forward." But Democrats, while supporting counterterrorism, questioned how Bush (above, left) intends to fund proposals such as the largest increase in military spending in 20 years. Said Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Joseph Biden (D) of Delaware: "We will soon find out how the administration is going to fit all the things it hopes to implement - the 10 pounds in their wish list - into a five-pound bag." Bush is to submit his proposed budget to Congress next week. (Stories, pages 1, 2; editorials, page 8.))
The US's gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual 0.2 percent last quarter, the Commerce Department reported. While subject to revisions, the slight increase in the GDP - the broadest measure of the economy - could mean the recession has officially ended.
Amid positive economic indicators, Federal Reserve policymakers were expected to leave interest rates unchanged. As the Monitor went to press, no decision had been announced. The central bank's open market committee cut rates 11 times last year, dropping the interest on federal funds to a 40-year low of 1.75 percent.
The General Accounting Office, Congress's investigative arm, will, in fact, sue the White House to obtain documents on Vice President Cheney's meetings with Enron and other energy industry representatives last year, a congressional source said. A decision on the threatened move had been expected this week. The meetings took place as the Bush administration shaped its energy policy. Several congressional committees, the Justice Department, and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Enron Corp.'s bankruptcy, the largest in US history.
New York authorities warned antiglobalization protesters gathered for the World Economic Forum that - in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks - they will not tolerate violence. The annual forum is to open today at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, with 4,000 police stationed around that venue alone. Riots have disrupted recent, similar high-profile gatherings in Nice, France; Genoa, Italy; Quebec City, Canada; and Prague, in the Czech Republic. Protest organizers say they plan only peaceful demonstrations.
Official approval for the Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis heavyweight title bout, planned for April 6 in Las Vegas, was denied. The Nevada State Athletic Commission voted 4-to-1 to refuse Tyson a license to box there. The decision came after Lewis claimed Tyson bit him during a brawl at their press conference last week. The match still could take place in another state or country.