Congress passed a $388 billion spending bill Saturday that tightens federal spending on everything from education to the environment. But members failed to reach agreement on legislation to overhaul the nation's intelligence agencies. Although the latter proposal was backed by the White House and the special 9/11 commission, stiff opposition from House Republicans sank it. Insiders said the Pentagon, which controls 80 percent of the intelligence budget, helped scuttle the deal, which would have created a new national director of intelligence. The White House urged Congress to keep working on passage.
The National Basketball Association suspended four players indefinitely for their involvement in violence that spilled into the stands Friday night in Auburn Hills, Mich. Commissioner David Stern, who was expected to determine the length of the suspensions Sunday, called the melee at the Detroit Pistons- Indiana Pacers game in which players and fans attacked one another "shocking, repulsive, and inexcusable." The Pacers' Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, and Jermaine O'Neal and one Piston, Ben Wallace, whose retaliation after a hard foul ignited tempers, will be benched. On Saturday, the football teams of Clemson and the University of South Carolina engaged in a wild bench-clearing brawl that took coaches, police, and security officers 10 minutes to quell.
By a 391-to-3 vote, the House passed a nonbinding resolution Saturday that praised the 3.2-million-member Boy Scouts of America for its public service efforts and condemned legal efforts by civil libertarians to limit government ties to the group. The action came on the heels of last week's Pentagon announcement that it would end sponsorship of Boy Scout troops by US military bases around the world because of the organization's sworn oath of duty to God and ban against openly gay leaders.
The operators of 14 luxury hotels in San Francisco and their unionized employees called a temporary truce that will end an eight-week lockout. Starting Tuesday, 4,000 unionized maids, bellhops, cooks, and other hourly wage earners will return to work as holiday business is expected to pick up. Negotiations will resume after Thanksgiving over wage increases and the length of a new contract.