Ethics panel clears senator in 9/11 leak probe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate Ethics Committee has dropped its investigation of Sen. Richard Shelby regarding allegations he was the source of a media leak about how the National Security Agency handled messages before the September 11 attacks. The Alabama Republican said on Sunday he was "gratified" the committee had closed the matter and that he felt vindicated.
Bush to press Hu on currency
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A push for China to embrace more currency flexibility and crack down on trade in fake U.S. goods will dominate President George W. Bush's economic message as he sets off this week on a four-nation trip to Asia. Bush's tour, which includes a visit to Beijing, comes after a report showed the U.S. trade deficit with the rest of the world surged to a record monthly high of $66.1 billion in September amid a flood of imports from China.
Democrats urged to keep option of blocking Alito
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Despite early signals to the contrary, U.S. Senate Democrats must keep open the option of blocking a confirmation vote on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, Democratic Party leader Howard Dean said on Sunday. "This could be a defining moment," Dean said. "Judge Alito is a hard-working man, a good family man, but his opinions are well outside the mainstream of American public opinion."
Republican chair admits tough 'political times'
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. Republicans, stung by election defeats last week, acknowledged political problems on Sunday but rejected predictions that Democrats would win back control of the U.S. Congress next year. "There is no question we're in difficult political times," Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman told NBC's "Meet the Press."