There are "no plans for pauses or cease-fires" in the Iraq war, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld told ABC-TV's "This Week," amid speculation by military analysts that the US-led campaign has become bogged down and could run well into summer. Making the rounds of Sunday shows, Rumsfeld also denied a report in New Yorker magazine that he repeatedly demanded, and won, cuts in the size of US ground forces, overruling objections by Pentagon war planners.
Waving US and Cuban flags, an estimated 3,000 marchers in Miami's Little Havana section cheered President Bush and US troops Saturday, while denouncing recent efforts by moderate Cuban-exile groups to foster dialogue with Fidel Castro's government. New antiwar rallies also were held around the country. One in rainy downtown Boston drew an estimated 15,000 to 25,000 participants, some of whom staged a "die in" on a busy thoroughfare to protest war casualties.
A federal judge in Washington upheld Michigan's prescription-drug program that requires doctors treating Medicaid beneficiaries to use specified discount medicines. Pharmaceutical companies and mental health advocates had argued that the program needed approval by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. Friday's ruling could affect millions of Medicaid recipients. Vermont and South Carolina recently joined a multistate drug-purchasing compact with Michigan, and 10 other states are devising similar programs.
New rules extending a ban on public smoking in New York took effect at midnight Sunday. Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R), an ex-smoker who has made health issues a priority for his administration, pushed hard for the increase. It applies to all workplaces, including bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, with $400 fines for violators starting in May. "People will adjust very quickly and a lot of lives will be saved," Bloomberg said. A similar statewide law was signed by Gov. George Pataki (R) last week and is due to take effect this summer.
A rally by 30 members of the Ku Klux Klan drew 200 counterdemonstrators in Greenville, Tenn., Saturday. About 100 law-enforcement officers kept the two sides apart.