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News Briefs

Nader Moves Crowds But Not Polls


It wasn’t exactly the grand entrance expected of a presidential candidate. Green Party nominee Ralph Nader was an hour late for a campaign stop in East Liverpool, Ohio. He had taken several wrong turns, gotten stuck behind a tractor. And when he finally arrived at the school, no one had bothered to reserve him a parking space.

Don Chaney, 78, of West Virginia was angry Nader had kept him waiting while holding a hurried news conference. “I’m so mad at these people I could cry,” he said.

But, like many of the 200 supporters who hung around Wednesday, Chaney still firmly intends to vote for the consumer advocate.

Although handicapped by lack of funds to finance luxuries such as chauffeurs, chartered planes, security staff and bag carriers, Nader is attracting crowds of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- to events and rallies nationwide. His campaign may not have the slick professionalism of his rivals’, but that hasn’t prevented him from attracting enthusiastic followers.

But, impressive as his support on the ground often appears, that excitement isn’t reflected in polls. National support for Nader, as high as 7 percent this summer before the major parties’ conventions, now languishes below 5 percent. Marshall Wittmann, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, said Nader has “moved from being an exclamation point to the danger of becoming an asterisk.”

“The wind came out of his sails when Gore had his populist transformation,” Wittmann said.

Lottery to Award 50,000 U.S. Visas


Up to 50,000 green cards conferring permanent residency in the United States are up for grabs again as the diversity visa lottery gets under way now through noon Nov. 1.

The lottery, which started Monday, makes the green cards available to citizens from countries that have not sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the last five years. The visas are distributed randomly under the program and allow recipients to live in the United States permanently.

Citizens from Canada, China (including Macau), Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, the United Kingdom and its dependent territories (not including Northern Ireland) and Vietnam are not allowed to enter the lottery this year because of high recent immigration from these countries, according to the State Department.

Entries for the next lottery are being accepted for the rest of this month. They will be selected randomly and winners will be notified from April to July 2001, officials said.

Entering the lottery is free, and there is no special entry form. Applicants are asked only to write down such basic information as their name, date and place of birth and mailing address and to send the information along with a photograph.