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Elizabeth Dole quitting Red Cross, report says

Elizabeth Dole is planning to step aside as president of the American Red Cross in a step her political supporters hope will lead to her running for president, Newsweek magazine reports.

The magazine reports in its Jan. 11 edition, portions of which were released Sunday, that one of Dole's close advisers described her decision as a "first step" toward a campaign for the Republican nomination, but also called it a "non-political event."

Red Cross officials would not confirm the report but announced late Sunday that Dole would make a "major" announcement at 2 p.m. today in Washington.

Lie low, Gingrich

tells Republicans

PHOENIX _ Rep. Newt Gingrich may be on his way out of the speaker's office, but his mind is still concocting strategies to save the Republican majority in Congress.

Most important, he told a group of conservatives in Phoenix, Republicans need to present themselves as the party of tax cuts. His big mistake last year, he said, was failing to push for substantial tax cuts early in the year and then being too exhausted to focus on them later, when Washington became enveloped in the impeachment of President Clinton.

But he also urged his party to lie low for the next two years and rethink its strategies.

"From the standpoint of the House and Senate," Gingrich said, "if we can adopt as our primary slogan "Do no harm' and simply block liberal measures for two years and set the stage for a Republican presidency, that is probably the most we can hope for."

California hiring

Clinton workers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. _ Gov.-elect Gray Davis is drawing heavily from the Clinton administration for his innermost circle of advisers.

Over the past few weeks, Davis has filled five out of a dozen cabinet positions _ the secretaries of health and human services, resources, food and agriculture, trade and commerce, and state and consumer affairs _ with people who have worked or still work for the president.

Of the more than 30 top-level people appointed by Davis so far, eight have worked for Clinton. California Democrats have gubernatorial jobs available for the first time since Jerry Brown left office in 1983.

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