Bush signs temporary spending measure

Saturday, October 12, 2002

WASHINGTON -- President Bush signed a temporary spending bill Friday that allows the federal government to continue spending for another week at current levels because most budget measures remain snarled in Congress.

A $10.5 billion military construction Congress cleared Thursday was the first of 13 annual spending bills lawmakers have completed for the budget year that began Oct. 1.

The House this week easily approved a compromise $355.4 billion defense bill delivering most of the money Bush wants to bolster the Pentagon's battle against terrorism and Senate action was expected next week. But GOP leaders failed in their effort to put off Congress' fight over the rest of the budget until after next month's midterm elections.

Bills financing all other federal agencies remain unfinished.

Child remains critical after school bus crash

ERIE TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- One child remained in critical condition Friday from a school bus crash that injured dozens.

The bus was struck Thursday by a tractor-trailer as it crossed an intersection carrying 60 children and adults to a field trip.

Seven children and three adults remained hospitalized. Five children were in serious condition.

The truck loaded with 38 tons of steel coils barreled into the side of the bus in Erie Township. The truck pushed the bus about 100 feet and tore a hole in its side and the bottom of the floor.

The bus was filled with kindergartners, first- and second graders from Pierre Toussaint Academy and their adult chaperones.

Homemade explosive starts school evacuation

PAROWAN, Utah -- Three high school students were arrested after a sheriff's deputy found a homemade bomb in the backpack of a student who had been sent to the principal's office, authorities said.

Scott Doubek, principal at Parowan High School, said a 14-year-old student was in his office Wednesday being questioned on an unrelated disciplinary matter when a sheriff's deputy posted to the school searched the boy's backpack.

A carbon-dioxide cartridge packed with black powder and a fuse was found inside, Doubek said.

Doubek said the student told him he planned to set off the explosive, but not at the school in rural southern Utah.

Islamic awareness event in N.C. gets opposition

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The group that sued to stop the University of North Carolina from assigning freshmen a book on the Quran is now taking aim at the school's plans to hold an Islamic awareness week next month.

The American Family Association's Center for Law and Policy filed an amended court complaint last week to try to block UNC from hosting seminars and round-table discussions on Islam Nov. 11-15.

"There's a lot more going on than we thought there was when we first filed our complaint," said Michael DePrimo, an attorney for the conservative Christian group.

Police: Soldier searches Internet for lookalike

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- A Fort Bragg soldier trying to stage his own disappearance searched the Internet for a man who looked like him and cut the man's throat, but the victim survived, police said.

The victim pulled the 8-inch knife from his throat, cut ropes around his hands and feet and fled, sheriff's Det. Barbara Davenport said.

Jonathan Meadows, a specialist assigned to the 37th Engineering Battalion, was charged with attempted murder and held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Meadows spent weeks searching the Internet for someone who would be mistaken for himself, Davenport said. He was seeking men who were 5-foot-6, about 150 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

-- From wire reports

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