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Archive for Sunday, August 24, 2003

Briefly

August 24, 2003

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Los Angeles

Republican Simon drops out of gubernatorial recall race

Republican Bill Simon dropped out of California's gubernatorial recall race Saturday, boosting the position of GOP front-runner Arnold Schwarzenegger amid calls from party leaders to narrow the Republican field.

"I strongly believe that the desire of Californians must come before the aspirations of any single candidate," Simon said in a statement released by his campaign. "There are too many Republicans in this race and the people of this state simply cannot risk a continuation of the Gray Davis legacy."

Leaders and donors in both parties, worried about splitting the vote Oct. 7 if Gov. Davis is recalled, have started lining up behind the two front runners -- Republicans largely supporting Schwarzenegger and Democrats favoring a "No on recall, yes on Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante" strategy.

Alabama

Commandments protesters keep vigil outside courthouse

Demonstrators kept vigil Saturday outside the Alabama Judicial Building, singing, preaching and praying for a way to prevent removal of a Ten Commandments monument from the building's rotunda.

After losing court battles at all levels and the suspension Friday of the monument's champion, Chief Justice Roy Moore, protest leaders concede the 5,300-pound marker will most likely be removed. State officials have not signaled when, where or how they will move it.

Although Moore's supporters have said they would try to prevent removal of the monument, his attorneys have told the federal judge that ordered it removed that Moore himself would not interfere.

Canada

Thousands more evacuated from British Columbia fire

A wildfire burned through orchards and vineyards Saturday, advancing to the edge of Kelowna, British Columbia, and forcing thousands to flee their homes ahead of flames that towered up to 400 feet.

Authorities have evacuated some 30,000 people from homes in the suburbs of Kelowna in recent days. Another 11,000 people were on evacuation alert.

The fire has destroyed at least 200 homes and possibly up to 300, according to fire official in Kelowna, about 170 miles east of Vancouver.

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