Aid package for Georgia
The White House proposed a $1 billion economic aid package for the former Soviet republic of Georgia, in a move likely to raise tensions with Russia. The proposal calls for disbursing half the money in the five months remaining to the Bush administration. The money would finance repairs to infrastructure damaged when Russia invaded Georgia last month. Russia claimed the aid was really intended to secure energy supplies that flow through Georgia, bypassing Russia.
Double whammy for schools
Public schools reopening around the country are facing a one-two punch from high gas prices and the economic downturn. With thousands of families losing their homes to foreclosure, many districts report record numbers of homeless students. At the same time, higher fuel costs are forcing some districts to curtail bus routes, shorten school hours, or fire staff. Detroit has laid off 700 teachers; Los Angeles has furloughed 500 administrators.