News In Brief

President Bush launched a series of carefully orchestrated events aimed at building public support for his $1.6 trillion, 10-year tax-cut plan. At a White House press event, he featured several families who would benefit significantly from lower tax brackets. Among the other planned events was a visit today to a Washington-area small business, where Bush is to argue that tax cuts would spur economic growth. The president is to send the outlines of his tax plan - which he wants to make retroactive to Jan. 1 - to Congress Thursday. (Story, page 1.)

Bush said he got a cordial hearing from House Democrats at their strategy session in southwestern Pennsylvania as he fielded questions about his tax-cut proposal, abortion, foreign policy, and election reform. Rep. Martin Frost of Texas, No. 3 in the Democratic leadership, said later that Bush worked the room well but that some lawmakers had "serious policy differences" with him. Last Friday, Bush also joined a gathering of Senate Democrats.

Congressional investigators reported that major US banks holding accounts for some foreign counterparts have been used as conduits for laundering millions of dollars obtained through drug dealing, fraud, and other crimes. The report, a result of a year-long probe into the issue, named a number of prominent institutions including Bank of America, Citigroup, and First Union. It recommended that banks follow stricter controls and that Congress act to prohibit banks from opening so-called correspondent accounts for "brass plate" institutions that usually consist of nothing more than a name and mailbox in an offshore financial haven.

California, struggling to improve its power supply, had to shut down a nuclear reactor just 12 hours after it had been restored to service following a month-long closure for maintenance. A utility spokesman said a fire started in an electrical switching room at the San Onofre plant, causing an automatic shutdown. Although several pieces of equipment were damaged, no radiation was released and nobody was injured, the spokesman said. Repairs and inspections could keep the facility offline for at least several weeks.

Washington police conducted 100 interviews and were planning more after a student was found murdered early Saturday at Gallaudet University, a school for the hearing-impaired. The death of Benjamin Varner was the second at the university's Cogswell Hall dormitory since last September.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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