USA

Under the proposed $2.13 trillion budget that President Bush sent to Congress, defense spending would increase by $48 billion and the budget for domestic security would nearly double, to $37.7 billion. In an accompanying message, Bush repeated that his administration would do "whatever it takes" to win the counterterrorism war. The fiscal 2003 budget, expected to face months of partisan wrangling during a congressional election year, also includes new tax cuts to the tune of $591 billion over 10 years. To make room for his priorities, Bush would slash funding for scores of other programs, such as highway construction, education, health, and environmental projects. (Story, page 1; editorial, page 8)

Despite a no-show by the most-anticipated witness, hearings into Enron's collapse were set to begin before Congress. In a letter to the Senate Commerce and House Financial Services Committees, a lawyer for ex-Enron chairman Kenneth Lay said statements by legislators over the weekend indicated "the tenor of the hearing will be prosecutorial." Three other former Enron executives, Jeffrey Skilling, Andrew Fastow, and Michael Kopper, are scheduled to appear before House panels Thursday.

Enron's former auditor/consultant, Arthur Andersen LLP, enlisted Paul Volker (above), former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, to lead an independent oversight board into the way it does business. "Accounting and auditing in this country is in a state of crisis," Volker said, adding that the panel would have authority to force compliance with any reforms it may recommend.

The world's business elites ignore extreme poverty at their peril, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned as the World Economic Forum ended five days of meetings in New York. "The forces of envy, despair, and terror ... are stronger than many of us realized," Annan said, in a reference to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He called on business leaders to think of ways their companies can help alleviate hunger, disease, and conflict in developing nations.

Olympic security officials were investigating the discovery of a sniper rifle in the mountains near Salt Lake City, where the Winter Games open Friday. A local newspaper reported that a hunter found the 50-caliber weapon and 386 rounds of ammunition Jan. 26, about five miles from the Olympic cross-country venue. Still, Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt (R) said Saturday that with a $310 million security plan in place, "I think you can make the argument this will be the safest place on Earth for the next 25 days." (Related story, page 2.)

Fans of the New England Patriots were savoring the team's first Super Bowl win. With a field goal in the final seconds of Sunday's championship in New Orleans, the Patriots beat the St. Louis Rams, 20-17. (Story, page 1; editorial, page 8.)

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