News In Brief
With certain victories today in a another set of "super Tuesday" primaries, Vice President Gore stands to go over the top in the number of delegates needed for the Democratic presidential nomination. He currently has 1,679; 2,170 are necessary to nominate. Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Gore's native Tennessee offer 566 delegates to the party's national convention. Gore picked up 182 over the weekend in uncontested votes in Arizona and Michigan and in caucuses in Minnesota, and Nevada, although turnout in the latter two states was reported at only about 11,000 and 1,000, respectively.
George W. Bush also could clinch his party's nomination with a sweep of today's Republican primaries. The Texas governor currently has 701 of the 1,034 needed. A total of 341 are at stake in the six states voting.
To head off further controversy over his state's GOP presidential primary, New York Gov. George Pataki plans to propose allowing all nationally recognized candidates onto the ballot in future votes, Newsday reported. The newspaper said the plan also calls for the primary to be a winner-take-all contest, with Republicans voting directly for candidates rather than for delegates as under the current system. Pataki drew heavy criticism for leading an unsuccessful effort to keep every GOP candidate but Bush off the ballot in last week's primary.
Legislation that would confer the rights, benefits, and responsibilities of marriage on same-gender couples is expected to go before the Vermont House of Representatives tomorrow. Details in each area parallel those in statutes governing marriage between men and women. In upholding the equality of homosexual unions Dec. 20, the Vermont Supreme Court assigned to legislators the task of deciding whether such benefits should come through formal marriage or a system of domestic partnerships.
The competing demands of other US military operations are among the reasons why a key element of the campaign against the production of cocaine in South America is faltering, The Washington Post reported. Quoting federal officials, the newspaper said US surveillance flights over regions of Colombia declined by two-thirds over the past year.
Duke, Michigan State, Stanford, and Arizona were awarded the top seeds in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The field of 64 schools, set by the tournament committee in Indianapolis, includes three making their first appearance: Central Connecticut State, Southeast Missouri State, and North Carolina-Wilmington.
"American Beauty" was the big winner in the sixth-annual Screen Actors Guild awards ceremonies in Los Angeles. The film about a dysfunctional family swept the honors for best actor, actress, and cast, strengthening its prospects for the Academy Awards to be presented March 26.
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