Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush cruised to victory in Super Tuesday's presidential primaries, each winning the crucial states of California, New York, and Ohio. With the respective Democratic and Republican races virtually over, the two laid out themes for the general election in November: "continue the prosperity" (Gore), and "restore honor to the White House" (Bush). A new Wall Street Journal poll showed them tied at 46 percent - the first time in more than a year that Gore hasn't trailed in a national poll.
Democrat Bill Bradley, who was soundly defeated in Super Tuesday primaries, reportedly planned to bow out of the race today and endorse Gore. Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona also was considering dropping out after hopes of winning at least one of the big states Tuesday were dashed.
California voters approved a controversial ballot initiative that prohibits the state from granting marital rights to same-sex couples who were married elsewhere in the US. Currently, however, no state allows same-sex marriages. Californians also rejected an attempt to repeal a tobacco tax, reaffirmed their support for casino gambling on Indian land, and favored a measure that allows prosecutors - rather than juvenile court judges - to decide whether young people are tried as adults.
Nine-term US Rep. Matthew "Marty" Martinez (D) of California became the only incumbent in Congress to lose his seat in Super Tuesday voting. He was ousted by state Sen. Hilda Solis, a fellow Democrat, who is virtually assured of winning the general election because there are no Republicans in the race.
A federal court is to hold the first hearing today on a suit filed by Miami relatives of Elian Gonzalez, who are battling to keep the Cuban shipwreck survivor in the US. Judge Michael Moore will hear arguments over whether Elian is entitled to a political-asylum hearing, after the Immigration and Naturalization Service ruled in January that the boy should be sent home to his Cuban father. Legal experts said Moore is likely to rule the federal court doesn't have standing to hear the case.
An estimated 10,000 people demonstrated against Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's plan to end affirmative action in admissions to Florida's 10 public universities and in awarding state contracts. Protests came during the State of the State address and as the legislature's regular session began. Most Floridians favor eliminating such programs, Bush said, and it guarantees college admission to the top 20 percent of each high school graduating class.
A Southwest Airlines jet was going almost 60 m.p.h. too fast when it touched down and skidded off the runway at Burbank Airport in California, the National Transportation Safety Board said. Recording devices show its descent was at roughly twice the usual flight-path angle.
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