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USA UK and Malta News
21/03/2008 - 22:44

USA today Editoweb, 21 march 2008

Candidates' passport files breached - NM Gov. Bill Richardson endorses Obama - All-you-can-eat seat, heartburn included - Sex offender runs for mayor of suburb -Americans confident in 2009 turnaround.

Candidates' passport files breached
At least four State Department workers pried into the supposedly secure passport files of presidential contenders Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain, abashed officials admitted Friday in a revelation that had Condoleezza Rice promising a full investigation and telephoning the candidates to personally apologize. The snooping incidents raised questions as to whether there was political motivation and why two contractors involved were fired before investigators had a chance to interview them. The State Department's inspector general was probing, with the Justice Department monitoring the effort, but Obama said that was not enough. He urged congressional involvement "so it's not simply an internal matter."

NM Gov. Bill Richardson endorses Obama
Bill Richardson, the nation's only Hispanic governor, backed Barack Obama for president Friday, moved to deliver his much-coveted endorsement by the senator's speech about race. The New Mexico governor joined Obama at spirited rally Friday and said the Illinois senator demonstrated his leadership abilities this week with his speech on race. "You are a once-in-a-lifetime leader," the governor said from the stage. "Above all, you will be a president who brings this nation together." Richardson dropped his own bid for the nomination in January. His support for Obama comes during a tough period for the senator.

All-you-can-eat seat, heartburn included
KANSAS CITY Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks. And some more. And more. A growing trend in all-you-can-eat seating at sports venues is making baseball's summer chorus sound more like "Take Me Out to the Buffet." Dozens of arenas, stadiums and tracks have offered tickets that come with unlimited snacks. The seats have been a hit with fans, a moneymaker for the venues and a worry for obesity-conscious health officials.

Sex offender runs for mayor of suburb
A registered sex offender collared in an Internet sting four years ago is running for mayor of a small Dallas suburb. James Brian Sliter (SLY'-ter) says he's sorry and needs to prove he can be an asset to his community. The 42-year-old was arrested after arranging sex with someone he met on the Internet who he thought was a 15-year-old girl. Sliter was placed on 10 years of probation for attempting to commit sexual assault of a child. The case will eventually be dismissed if he stays out of trouble.

Americans confident in 2009 turnaround
A majority believe the economy will be in good shape a year from now, but remain wary about some prospects, according to a survey.
Though times are tough now, Americans believe the economy will bounce back by next year, according to a survey released Friday. A national CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found that 60% of respondents think economic conditions in the United States will be "good" next year, as opposed to the 75% who think the economic situation is "poor" now.
"Most people realize that the economy has cycles of ups and downs," said Wachovia economist Sam Bullard. "Fortunately, the last two recessions were some of the shortest on record, so in 2009 we should be pulling up out of this."

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