President Bush declared two counties, one each in Georgia and Alabama, to be disaster areas over the weekend, several days after tornadoes killed 19 people in the affected areas. Bush toured the region Saturday, including Enterprise, Ala., where eight students at the local high school died when a concrete roof collapsed.
According to a Bush administration estimate, the US will emit almost 20 percent more "greenhouse" gases in 2020 than it did in 2000. The projection is contained in an internal draft report to the UN, which the Associated Press obtained. The US is responsible for about one-quarter of the emissions scientists say lead to global warming.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said his confidence in the US economy was not shaken by last week's stock-market plunge, he indicated on ABC's "This Week," which aired Sunday. He noted that inflation is under control and real income per average American worker has risen 2.1 percent over the past year. He also said China, which triggered last week's downturn and which he visits this week, shouldn't be viewed as an economic enemy.
US negotiators will meet with their North Korean counterparts in New York Monday and Tuesday to discuss ways of normalizing relations. The most sensitive issue on the table is North Korea's nuclear activities.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised billions of dollars of disaster aid to farmers as she became the first speaker in decades to attend the National Farmers Union convention, held over the weekend in Orlando, Fla.
The number of women serving in state legislatures slipped in 20 states after the November elections, despite a slight overall national gain to 23.5 percent, the Associated Press reported. Katie Fisher of the Women's Legislative Network said an increasingly partisan political landscape may be discouraging women's participation.
After fellow California Republicans questioned his co-authorship of a bill to give every newborn in the state a $500 savings account, state Sen. Bob Dutton quickly withdrew his support for the proposal late last week. Fellow GOP lawmakers question the measure's $285 million annual cost and inclusion of children of illegal immigrants.