Los Angeles – Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush on Saturday abruptly pulled out of a joint appearance scheduled for this winter in Los Angeles after growing unhappy with the way the event was being promoted.
Last week, the two scrubbed an upcoming appearance in New York City.
“We canceled the event because of a violation of contract and a promoter who insisted on billing it as something it wasn’t,” said Matt McKenna, a spokesman for Clinton. David Sherzer, a spokesman for Bush, also confirmed that the event is off.
McKenna said the forum was never intended to be a clash between the 42nd and 43rd presidents – “the hottest ticket in political history,” a news release called it – but rather a moderated panel discussion.
“It’s unfortunate that an overeager promoter ruined the opportunity to hear a serious discussion of the issues between two former presidents who have a great deal of respect for each other,” McKenna said.
Transit strike talks break down
Philadelphia – Negotiations aimed at ending a transit strike in Philadelphia broke off Saturday night with Pennsylvania’s governor calling on the union to let its members vote on the company’s offer.
“In my 32 years in government, I have never been more disappointed by a negotiation than I am right now tonight,” Gov. Ed Rendell told reporters Saturday evening.
Rendell, who has been brokering the talks, announced a tentative agreement Friday night to end the walkout that began Tuesday, but he said the union had raised as many as nine new issues on Saturday.
He said the talks finally broke down over the union’s insistence on being able to audit the pension fund and on the possible impact of national health insurance reform.
Transport Workers Union Local 234 represents about 5,000 bus drivers, subway and trolley operators and mechanics of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority who walked off the job early Tuesday over pension benefits.
Teenager who fled now cancer-free
Minneapolis – A Minnesota teen who fled the state to avoid chemotherapy has finished his cancer treatment.
Daniel Hauser, of Sleepy Eye, underwent his final radiation session Friday, and his family said the 13-year-old is cancer-free.
Daniel gained national attention when he stopped treatment after one session in February and fled, citing his religious beliefs.
After he returned, he underwent court-ordered chemo to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma, then started radiation therapy.