Washington: Bush issues challenge to Senate Democrats
President Bush challenged the Democratic-controlled Senate on Saturday to follow the GOP-led House and pass homeland security, defense and economic legislation before its summer recess.
"By taking action on these issues, the Senate can advance our national priorities of defending freedom, protecting our homeland and strengthening our economy," the president said in his weekly radio address.
"The Senate now has one week left to make progress for the American people, and I urge them to seize the opportunity," he said.
Washington: Democrats take credit for corporate fraud bill
Democrats are trying to make sure President Bush doesn't get credit for an accounting reform bill Congress passed last week, saying he and other Republicans only agreed to go along after corporate scandals had shaken investor confidence.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said it was only after corporate abuses mounted that the White House and Republicans agreed to a bill written by Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md.
"After the collapse of Enron last fall, Democrats sought real reforms to demand the same kind of accountability and responsibility from powerful corporations that we expect from ordinary people," DeLauro said in the Democrats' radio address aired Saturday.
"But the response on the other side was delay, equivocation and rationalization for business misconduct," she said.
New Mexico: Forestry technician charged in arsons
A Bureau of Indian Affairs forestry technician has been indicted for allegedly starting fires on or near the Mescalero Apache Reservation.
Brian Klinekole, 27, was charged with six counts of setting fires in the Lincoln National Forest and the Mescalero reservation between March 12 and May 24, according to statements from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Attorney's Office.
If convicted, Klinekole could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the six counts.
California: HIV-positive Muppet still in the works
The head of PBS won't rule out the appearance of an HIV-positive Muppet on "Sesame Street," saying the show's approach will reflect the virus' impact on U.S. children.
An HIV-positive character will join South Africa's version of the show, and some federal lawmakers had grown alarmed by the possibility of such a character joining the U.S. show, questioning whether it was age appropriate.
PBS President Pat Mitchell told the Television Critics Assn. on Friday in Pasadena that the South African character grew from the needs of that country, where millions of children are affected by AIDS.
If the virus became a more serious problem for U.S. children, "Sesame Street" would be as responsive as it has been to other topics, Mitchell said.
San Diego: Thousands of squid washed ashore, dead
Thousands of jumbo flying squid measuring up to 2 feet long have washed ashore at a La Jolla beach, surprising scientists and swimmers.
Workers on Friday removed 12 tons of dead and dying squid stranded at La Jolla Cove.
It may have been the largest local mass stranding in nearly 100 years, said Eric Hochberg, a scientist with the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum.
Hochberg believes the mollusks were stranded while chasing a school of grunion, a fish that spawns on the sand at high tide.
"They're just getting tumbled by the surf and washed ashore," he said.