President Bush sent Congress a $2.57 trillion spending plan that proposes deep cuts across a wide swath of government, setting off an angry response from prominent Democrats. House minorty leader Nancy Pelosi of California called it a "hoax" in which "two issues that dominated the president's State of the Union address - Iraq and Social Security - are nowhere to be found." The administration has said it will seek an additional $80 billion in the coming weeks to fund the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for this year. A plan for overhauling Social Security, the Bush's No. 1 domestic priority, is still being developed, aides said, and accurate cost estimates can't be made yet. While maintaining funding levels for defense, homeland security, and government-mandated programs, the goal of the budget is a 0.5 percent spending cut in other areas. The proposal is expected to trigger months of contentious debate in Congress.Skip to next paragraph
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The CIA agreed to release more information about Nazi war criminals it hired during the cold war, ending a standoff with a group that has succeeded in having more than a million documents made public since 1998. The group, officially called the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group, was instrumental in passage of a 1998 law that required all federal documents related to Nazi war crimes to be declassified. Many of ex-Nazi officials were sought by the CIA to provide expertise on the former Soviet Union during the Cold War. In another Nazi-related development, Herbert Lee Stivers, a retired sheet metal worker from southern California, told the Los Angeles Times he believes he was unwittingly engaged in delivering the poison, in a fountain pen, to Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering hours before the latter's scheduled 1946 execution. Stivers had been a guard during the Nuremberg trials. The Pentagon declined to comment on the Times story, which doesn't square with a military investigation.
American scientists have begun a "fundamental shift" in the design of nuclear weapons, a report in The New York Times said Monday. Instead of small, light warheads, designers are exploring how to make more robust weapons, less potentially vulnerable to deterioration, federal officials and private experts were quoted as saying.
The New England Patriots won their third Super Bowl in four years and were being described as a dynasty after edging the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21, in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday night. The dominance equals that enjoyed by the Dallas Cowboys, who secured three championships from 1993 to 1996. Patriot wide receiver Deion Branch was named the game's Most Valuable Player after setting a Super Bowl record with 11 catches.
Security during pop star Michael Jackson's trial for child molestation could cost Santa Barbara County $40,000 a day, officials told the Santa Barbara News-Press. Jury selection in the case has begun in what is expected to be a five-month trial.
The trial of Vickie Dawn Jackson, a hospital nurse accused of killing 10 elderly patients with lethal injections, opens Tuesday in Nocona, Texas. The defense has not said whether it will present an insanity defense. The case grew out of an investigation of the high number of deaths at Nocona's hospital.