Lieberman Joins Presidential Race

* Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, who became the first Jewish person to be a vice presidential nominee, said yesterday that he is running for the presidency.

Lieberman, a Democrat from Connecticut, went back to his high school to make his announcement. He also went to a history class to talk to students about the presidency.

Then-Vice President Al Gore and Lieberman lost to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney during the much-disputed 2000 election. Lieberman said he is running to make America better. "I'm ready to protect [Americans'] security, to revive their economy and to uphold their values," he said.

There already are several Democrats who want to challenge President Bush when the election is held in November 2004. Former Vermont governor Howard Dean, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and Missouri Rep. Richard A. Gephardt have said they want to be president. Other politicians say they are thinking about running; but Gore and Sen. Thomas A. Daschle, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, have said they will not run.

Red Pandas Die at Zoo

* Last week we reported happy red panda news -- the births of seven in South Africa -- but now there is some sad news. Two red pandas at the National Zoo died last weekend.

Zoo official say they aren't sure what caused the deaths, but a small amount of rat poison was found in the exhibit area. Several animal handlers who went into the exhibit to check on the pandas also got sick. It could be several weeks before zoo officials know if it was the poison that killed the animals and made the workers sick.

The zoo uses poisons to control the rat population, but puts the poison deep in the ground where rats burrow.

Red pandas, which are about the size of a house cat, spend a lot of time up in the trees, far away from where the poison was buried.

The deaths of the 5 1/2- and 7 1/2-year-old males come after several recent deaths of older animals at the zoo, including a seal, two giraffes, a lion and a white tiger.

-- From staff reports

Joseph Lieberman is the fifth Democrat to state presidential hopes.