Nation briefs 12/8/03

Monday, December 8, 2003

Dean says judge should decide on records release

MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean said Sunday he will let a judge determine which of his sealed records from Dean's years as Vermont's governor should be made public. Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Dean said he has decided to use a lawsuit by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, suing to open the records, as a mechanism to determine which records should be released and which should be kept sealed.

YWCA chapters seek to bring men into leadership

NEW YORK -- Convinced that the mandatory policy of women-only leadership is no longer sound, some of the YWCA's most vibrant affiliates are taking steps to admit men as members and directors -- a challenge that could either transform or fracture the 145-year-old organization. YWCAs in Tucson, Ariz., and Olympia, Wash., already have changed their bylaws in defiance of national rules; Tucson expects to have a man on its board of directors within a few months, even if the consequence is expulsion. Some of the pro-change leaders believe that men who support the YWCA's core missions -- empowerment of women and elimination of racism -- would be valuable allies. Others want to comply with nondiscrimination policies of local United Ways or other charitable funds.

Rumsfeld: Iraqi security needs may be understated

WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he wants senior commanders in Iraq to consider whether the Pentagon underestimated how many U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces would be needed before a sovereign Iraqi government can take over next summer. Rumsfeld, who spent Saturday in Iraq, said he alone has raised doubts about whether the current goal of about 220,000 Iraqi security forces would be adequate, but he asked commanders to review their estimates. He was interviewed on the flight to Washington, arriving early Sunday after a weeklong trip that also included a stop in Afghanistan.

-- From wire reports

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