National briefs 4/24

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Senate confirms Bush judge for Appeals Court

WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted Tuesday to place a former New Hampshire attorney general on the federal appeals court.

Jeffrey Howard was confirmed for the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by the full Senate on a 99-0 vote.

Howard will sit on the court that oversees federal appeals in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Puerto Rico.

Howard was a U.S. attorney a decade ago under former President Bush. He was New Hampshire attorney general in the 1990s.

Providence mayor on trial on corruption charges

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Vincent Cianci Jr., a popular mayor, went on trial on graft charges Tuesday, with federal prosecutors saying he headed a criminal enterprise in which hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes were paid in exchange for jobs, contracts, leases and tax breaks.

"The purpose of Cianci's criminal enterprise was to enrich himself personally and politically," prosecutor Richard Rose said.

But the mayor's attorney portrayed Cianci as a victim of greedy city officials who used his name for their own profit.

Florida governor calls lawmakers back to work

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Gov. Jeb Bush on Tuesday called lawmakers back to the Capitol for the second special session this year, this time to write a $49 billion budget that must be in place by July 1.

"We're getting to the point now on the budget where further significant delays will make it hard for local school districts to plan for hiring teachers," Bush said Tuesday.

The special two-week session, to begin Monday, will be to pass a budget and a sweeping education measure. The Legislature failed to complete the education measure during a four-day special session earlier this month.

Company won't drill in valley sacred to Indians

WASHINGTON -- An oil company dropped plans Tuesday to drill in a Montana valley that is sacred to American Indians and is adorned with rock drawings considered among the most significant tribal art on the Northern Plains.

Denver-based Anschutz Exploration Corp. said it would transfer two leases in Weatherman Draw to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which will hold the leases until they expire.

The parcel where Anschutz wanted to drill had the potential to produce 10 million barrels of oil.

Sept. 11 did not lead to boom in enlistments

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Seventeen-year-old Yessica Matuce of New York City enlisted in the Army in January. But the attack that brought down the World Trade Center not far from her home had little to do with it.

She says she joined up because she wants to earn money for college, get a law degree and become part of the Army's legal corps.

Matuce is like most recent recruits, the military says.

By most accounts, the flag-waving fervor that followed the horror of Sept. 11 has not yielded the boom in military enlistments some expected.

-- From wire reports

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