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News Briefs

U.S. Increases Efforts to Gain Support for U.N. Resolution


The Bush administration intensified its campaign to win support for a tough United Nations resolution against Iraq Thursday, circulating a draft to the permanent members of the Security Council and dispatching a senior official to Paris and Moscow.

While British officials agreed to accept the U.S. draft resolution, the other veto-holding members of Security Council -- France, Russia and China -- for now have opposed a resolution that authorized military action if Baghdad fails to comply with U.N. demands for weapons inspections. Thursday, the three nations appeared to coordinate their own efforts against the U.S. proposal.

“We are a long way from getting an agreement but we are working hard,” Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Powell said the resolution should find Iraq in violation of previous Security Council resolutions, specify what it must do to comply and “determine what consequences will flow from Iraq’s failure to take action.”

Democrats Clash with Estrada At Hearings


Democrats who control the Senate Judiciary Committee clashed with Miguel Estrada, President Bush’s nominee to a key federal appeals court, at a hearing Thursday, suggesting that there is no quick end in sight for what is already a 16-month-old confirmation battle.

Democrats used the hearing to press for internal Justice Department memos Estrada wrote as a government attorney, a demand the White House has refused to meet. And they opened a new front, challenging Estrada’s credibility in answering questions about whether he had tried to prevent Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy from hiring liberal law clerks.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced at the beginning of the hearing that he “would be reluctant” to support moving Estrada’s nomination to a vote without the memos. He added in an interview afterward that Estrada had not said enough about his views, which “makes it even more imperative to get the Solicitor General memos.”

Protesters Hope to Clog Washington During World Bank Meetings


Anti-capitalism activists envision slow-moving caravans on the Capital Beltway impeding Friday morning’s commute, bicyclists clogging downtown streets and thousands of demonstrators working together to generate as much inconvenience as they can for the District of Columbia.

D.C. police see another possibility: If Friday’s protests, timed for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, turn violent or disruptive, jail cells will fill.

“These people that are apprehended are going to miss several protests,” said Police Chief Charles Ramsey, “because they’ll be behind bars.”

Members of the Anti-Capitalist Convergence -- the group loosely coordinating Friday’s protests -- said violence isn’t on the agenda. But they said disrupting the “vicious cycle” of capitalism is. In addition to large demonstrations organized by the Anti-Capitalist Convergence, an unknown number of actions by smaller independent groups are expected. Protesters and police said those actions could be the wild card that determines the extent of Friday’s disruptions.