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Library Finds Thousands More Roberts Documents

By David D. Kirkpatrick

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library said Tuesday that it had discovered thousands of previously undisclosed documents related to the work of Judge John G. Roberts Jr., adding a potential last-minute complication to the hearings on his nomination to the Supreme Court.

The library said last week that it had complied with the Bush administration’s instructions to speed release of any Roberts-related documents compelled to be released by public records laws. But on Tuesday the library said that in looking through the records, archivists noticed code letters on some of the Roberts papers. Archivists later searched using this alternate code and found additional Roberts documents.

A spokeswoman for the National Archives and Records Administration, which includes the Reagan library, said specialized researchers from around the country were rushing to the library to help sort and declassify the new material.

Poverty Rose in U.S. in 2004

By David Leonhardt

Even as the economy grew, income stagnated last year and the poverty rate rose, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. It was the first time on record that household incomes had failed to increase for five straight years.

The portion of Americans without health insurance remained roughly steady at 16 percent, the bureau said. A smaller percentage of people were covered by their employers, but two big government programs, Medicaid and military insurance, grew.

The Census Bureau’s annual report card on the nation’s economic well-being showed that a four-year expansion had still not done much to benefit many households. Median pretax income, $44,389, was at its lowest point since 1997, after inflation.

Though the reasons are not wholly clear, economists say that technology and global trade appear to be holding down pay for many workers. The rising cost of health care benefits has also eaten into pay increases.

After the report’s release, Bush administration officials said that the job market had continued to improve since the end of 2004 and that they hoped incomes were now rising and poverty was falling. The poverty rate “is the last, lonely trailing indicator of the business cycle,” said Elizabeth Anderson, chief of staff in the economics and statistics administration of the Commerce Department.

Government Focuses on Rescues, Shelter

By Larry Lipman

A day after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, federal emergency officials and the military focused Tuesday on rescuing thousands of trapped residents and sheltering tens of thousands more.

More than 7,000 National Guard troops were deployed in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, said Maj. Gen. Rich Rowe in a telephone interview broadcast on CNN.

Meanwhile, nearly two dozen disaster medical assistance teams were being sent to the affected areas from as far away as Washington state and Massachusetts. Two disaster veterinary assistance teams also were sent to the area to treat injured animals.

Bill Lokey, coordinator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency pleaded with residents to be patient while waiting for recovery support.

“Right now, our total focus is on life-saving efforts,” Lokey said at a televised news conference in Louisiana.