Democrats say Nader could cause Bush win
Suddenly, Ralph Nader is no longer being ignored.
The Green Party candidate's meager 5 percent in national polls is now viewed as a major threat to Al Gore in at least a half-dozen normally Democratic states. And that has prompted a vigorous campaign arguing that voting for him only helps George W. Bush.
Nader says he welcomes "the new and enhanced attention."
"Let these Democrats be more vociferous. All the better," he declared Wednesday. If anything, he said, his presence could pull the party back from its "right-wing dominated" leaders.
Gore, asked by reporters Wednesday if he'd like Nader to drop out of the race, laughed and said, "I'd like for Bush to do that.
"Look, I'll stack my environmental record next to anybody's," Gore said.
NRA spends almost $1 million to help Bush
The National Rifle Association spent almost $1 million last month on behalf of George W. Bush's presidential campaign, an effort that is cutting into Al Gore's support in key states.
The powerful lobby for gun owners' rights spent $610,610 on radio commercials and $336,216 on billboards in support of the Texas governor in several states, according new Federal Election Commission reports.
Organization president Charlton Heston has held get-out-the-vote rallies in such battleground states as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. An eight-state tour featuring Heston is scheduled to begin Monday.
National Park Service may allow burning
The National Park Service has ended its moratorium on the use of prescribed fires on federal lands and is allowing park superintendents to resume the controversial practice within established guidelines, officials said Wednesday.
The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore plans to set four such fires next month, starting with one in the Miller Woods section of Gary, Ind.
Aid bill finances debt relief for poor countries
Congress passed a foreign aid spending bill Wednesday that gives President Clinton the full $435 million he requested to forgive debts of the world's poorest countries. Rep. John Kasich said the support for debt relief was "a historic act of grace."
The agreement on debt relief, part of the $14.9 billion foreign aid bill for fiscal year 2001, was praised by both parties as a means of freeing poor nations from crushing financial obligations to let them feed and educate their people better.