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White House chilly to GOP Iraq plan

Mon., July 16, 2007

The White House said thanks but no thanks Sunday to a GOP plan to get out of Iraq.

Republican Sens. John Warner, of Virginia, and Richard Lugar, of Indiana, want President Bush to draw up a plan by Oct. 16 to pull out most troops.

When asked on “Fox New Sunday” if the White House would consider such a proposal, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley flatly said, “No.”

He said the White House would wait until Sept. 15, when Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus reports on progress of the administration’s surge, before considering a change in course.

“The time to begin that process is September, and the opening shot really ought to be to hear from the commanders on the ground,” Hadley said.

METAIRIE, La.

Vitter returning to D.C. for votes

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., in seclusion since acknowledging dealings with an escort service, is returning to Washington for votes in the Senate, his office said Sunday.

The advisory did not say when Vitter planned to return. On Friday, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said he had traded e-mails with Vitter and expected his colleague to return to the Capitol by Tuesday.

Vitter has been out of the public eye since releasing a statement July 9 apologizing for a “very serious sin,” acknowledging his Washington phone number was among those called several years ago by an escort service.

WASHINGTON

Clinton, Obama above $30 million

Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton ended the first half of the year with more than $30 million each for the presidential primaries, a formidable financial performance for the two leading Democratic White House contenders.

Obama reported having about $34 million in primary cash on hand; Clinton reported $33 million.

Obama led in fundraising for the period covering April though June, raising nearly $32 million for the primary election and about $1 million for the general election, according to reports filed Sunday with the Federal Election Commission.

Clinton raised about $21.5 million for the primary and $5.6 million for the general election, her campaign said.

John Edwards, the Democrat closest to the two fundraising leaders, reported having $12 million in the bank for the primary.

EL CAJON, Calif.

2 Navy members die in plane crash

A sheriff’s helicopter on routine patrol spotted the wreckage of a small private airplane, and the bodies of two Navy members were recovered Sunday, authorities said.

Officials did not know when the crash occurred at the rural site and said they did not know the model of the plane.

The coroner’s office would not reveal the victims’ identities. The Navy Region Southwest Command could not be reached for comment.

The wreck was spotted about noon Saturday. The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating.


 

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