At the request of Senate Governmental Affairs Committee chairman Joseph Lieberman, White House staff members will complete a questionnaire on the months leading up to the collapse of Enron Corp., a presidential spokes-man said. But Lieberman said the questionnaire, administered by White House counsel Al Gonzales, doesn't probe details about communication between the White House and Enron. Lieberman's committee is investigating regulators' actions around the Enron implosion.
Undercover congressional investigators passed through lax security at four Atlanta federal buildings earlier this year, according to a General Accounting Office report. Special agents bypassed X-ray machines with briefcases that could have contained explosives and, in one case, entered a building without identification, obtaining an after-hours access code and a permit to carry weapons. Among the buildings that failed the test was the Summit Federal Building, which houses the local office of the Secret Service.
In a move interpreted as a rebuff to Cardinal Bernard Law, a Roman Catholic parish in Boston decided against taking part in two major archdiocese fund-raisers. The Rev. Albert Capone of St. Michael's parish in Lowell, where a former priest is alleged to have molested children, said his church would instead focus on helping its alleged victims. Claiming St. Michael's covered up crimes by moving the accused priest between parishes, alleged victims have sued the archdiocese and Law.
President Bush completed a fund-raising swing in Los Angeles for California Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon. Over two days, Bush raised $4 million for Simon, a wealthy businessman. The president also outlined initiatives to help the needy, such as increasing the role of religious groups in social services.
Snowmobiles should be banned from Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, a new report by the Environmental Protection Agency said. The EPA's recommendation stems from concern over the Bush administration's decision to postpone elimination of snowmobiles on federal lands. Exhaust from the 70,000 snowmobiles (some of them seen below) that were used in Yellowstone last winter violates air-quality laws, the EPA report said.
Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said he'd close the governor's mansion indefinitely effective immediately due to budget cuts, which he blamed on lawmakers. In March, Ventura briefly closed the residence to deal with a projected $1.95 billion state deficit. Since then, the deficit projection has grown by another $440 million.