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Move to block new nukes fails in Senate

Compiled from Times wires
Published September 17, 2003

WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans on Tuesday defeated an effort to block the Bush administration from making new battlefield mininuclear weapons and resuming underground nuclear tests.

The largely party-line vote, 53-41, killed a measure sponsored by Democratic Sens. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Dianne Feinstein of California. It was similar to legislation the Republican-led House of Representatives endorsed in June despite White House objections.

The Bush administration worries conventional warheads won't destroy deeply buried chemical, biological or nuclear arsenals. It wants to develop nuclear warheads that could destroy enemy bunkers and "mininukes" that could be used by U.S. troops on the battlefield.

Opponents of the administration's nuclear plans said the White House is trying to roll back 50 years of arms-control policy. They fear it will lead Russia, North Korea, India, Pakistan and Iran to develop their own low-yield tactical nuclear weapons, which could wind up in terrorists' hands.

Elsewhere . . .

TEN COMMANDMENTS MONUMENT: Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore on Tuesday offered his Ten Commandments monument, banned by a judge from the state judicial building, to Congress for display in the U.S. Capitol.

SHUTTLE MEMORIAL: A campaign to raise money to benefit the families of the Columbia astronauts and to build memorials to the fallen space crew has been established by leaders of the space and entertainment communities, officials said Tuesday.

The Columbia Shuttle Memorial Trust is a campaign to raise $1-million for the families of each of the seven astronauts. A memorial to the fallen astronauts will be dedicated at Arlington Cemetery in February.

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