Federal City Digest

Federal City Digest

(By Susana Gonzalez -- Bloomberg News)
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Biden Travels South

Vice President Biden, taking Air Force Two for another workout, left Washington yesterday with his wife, Jill, for a short trip to Costa Rica and Chile. He will consult with Latin American leaders on the Summit of the Americas, scheduled for mid-April in Trinidad and Tobago.

He will also represent the administration at the Progressive Governance Conference in ViƱa del Mar, Chile, which opens today. The conference, focused on progressive politics and responses to the international financial crisis, will be attended by the presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, and the prime ministers of Norway and Britain.

While in Chile, Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with center-left Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

In Costa Rica, which last week reestablished diplomatic ties with Cuba cut off nearly 50 years ago, the vice president will be hosted by President Oscar Arias in San Jose, and meet with the presidents of Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama, also invited by Arias, as well as representatives for Honduras and Belize.

The Bidens will return to Washington on Monday.

WHAT TO WATCH

-- President Obama has two big public items on his agenda today: announcing the findings of the administration's Afghanistan-Pakistan review [story, A1], and holding a meeting with banks and trade groups. In the evening, he departs for Camp David with his family.

-- Recently back from Mexico, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, above, spends the day in Texas. In the afternoon, she will join Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) for the sixth annual "Stories from the Top" program at the Women's Museum in Dallas for Women's History Month.

In the evening, Clinton attends a gala in Houston to receive the Margaret Sanger Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for her advocacy of "women's health and rights throughout her public service career."

-- What chimps have wrought: The Georgetown University Law Center today hosts the Animal Legal Defense Fund conference "From the Horse's Mouth: Firsthand Perspectives on Animals, Law, and Policy in the United States."

At 9 a.m., Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Reps. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and Edward Whitfield (R-Ky.), and Nancy Perry, vice president of government affairs at the Humane Society of the United States (a conference partner), participate in a session called "Legislators' Roles in Animal Law."

-- The Commerce Department releases its personal income report for February -- another guidepost for those looking for signs of an economic thaw.

-- The National Park Service Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off Saturday. Take this paper outside, and enjoy the portability of newsprint.

-- Garance Franke-Ruta federalcity@washpost.com


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