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5 hopefuls will take public financing

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 8, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Five Democratic presidential hopefuls, including aggressive and early fundraiser Sen. John Edwards, have committed to taking taxpayer dollars to help finance their campaigns.

A sixth, Sen. John Kerry, laid the groundwork for also accepting public financing with a letter to donors suggesting they could double their money by helping him qualify. His campaign said, however, that he had not decided whether to take the taxpayer money.

Like Edwards of North Carolina, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, Al Sharpton, former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich are committed to taking public financing and the spending limits that come with it, aides said.

The three other candidates for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination -- Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt and Florida Sen. Bob Graham -- have not yet announced whether they will take public funding.

HART EXPLORES RUN: Moving closer to a presidential campaign, former Sen. Gary Hart said Friday that he intends to begin raising money and hiring a staff to more systematically explore entering the Democratic race, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Man injured building bomb at his kitchen table

HARTFORD, Wis. -- A man was in critical condition Friday after a bomb he was making on his kitchen table blew up, according to authorities who said they found other explosive devices inside the apartment.

The blast damaged the walls and ceiling and blew out the living room windows of the apartment in this town just outside Milwaukee.

"We found a large quantity of explosive material and chemical compounds," police Chief Thomas Jones said. He said the ATF found 15 explosive devices in boxes, and there was evidence the man had prices listed for the devices.

The man was taken to a Milwaukee hospital and underwent surgery to reconstruct his hands, Deputy Fire Chief Paul Stephans said. His name was not released, but hospital officials said he was in critical condition.

Astronaut buried in Arlington

WASHINGTON -- More than 100 mourners gathered Friday for the funeral of Columbia crew member Michael P. Anderson.

Anderson, 43, was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

An Air Force lieutenant colonel and pilot, Anderson is survived by his wife, Sandra, and daughters Kaycee, 9, and Sydney, 13.

Sniper suspect punished

FAIRFAX, Va. -- Teenage sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo lost some of his jail privileges Friday after scrawling the word "Muhammad" on the floor of his cell and writing on his shoes.

A hearing officer sentenced Malvo to two days of segregation, which means he will stay in his cell all day. Malvo, 18, also lost 15 days of recreation and will go back to eating a vegetarian loaf his lawyers had said made him ill. Defense attorney Michael Arif said he would not appeal the ruling.

Malvo is charged with capital murder in the Oct. 14 shooting of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, 47, outside a Home Depot store. Malvo and John Allen Muhammad, 42, are accused in a string of shootings last year that left 13 people dead.

Navy suspends Osprey tests for faulty lines

WASHINGTON -- The Navy has grounded its test fleet of V-22 Osprey aircraft for about two weeks so workers can replace potentially faulty hydraulic lines, military officials said Friday.

Testing at the Texas factory that assembles the Ospreys found that hydraulic lines were failing much more quickly than they should have, said Ward Carroll, a spokesman for the Osprey program. The Navy switched suppliers and will begin replacing the potentially faulty hydraulic lines Monday, Carroll said.

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