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Friday, March 18, 2005; Page A05

Ban on Human Cloning Is Introduced Again

Sens. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.), with Reps. David Joseph Weldon (R-Fla.) and Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), yesterday reintroduced legislation to ban the creation of human embryos or babies by cloning.

"Human life should be cherished, and human dignity should be protected," Brownback said. "We should not create human life just to destroy it."

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Stem Cell Research

The Brownback-Landrieu Human Cloning Prohibition Act, has passed the House twice but has repeatedly stalled in the Senate. Opponents favor a ban on cloned babies but not on the cloning of embryos, which scientists say may be valuable sources of potentially therapeutic embryonic stem cells.

Israel's Sharon Will Meet Bush in Texas

President Bush has invited Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for the first time to his Crawford, Tex., ranch for talks on April 11 on boosting the Middle East peace process, U.S. government sources said Thursday.

It will be Sharon's first visit to Bush's ranch after nearly 10 visits to the White House since taking office in 2001. Israeli officials said earlier this month that the meeting would take place in Washington.

GAO Faults Oversight Of Head Start Centers

The nation's preschool program is susceptible to waste and poor service by local centers because of weak federal oversight, a congressional audit says.

The review by the Government Accountability Office depicts federal management of Head Start as disjointed and inconsistent, allowing financial problems to go unchecked or unfixed.

The audit is scheduled for release Friday but was obtained in advance by the Associated Press. The Head Start program provides comprehensive help to poor children. Congress spent $6.8 billion on Head Start in 2004, serving 919,000 children.

-- Compiled from reports

by staff writer Rick Weiss

and news services

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