– DEMOCRATS DEFIANT ON COLOMBIA PACT: The battle between the White House and Democratic leaders over the Colombian free trade agreement intensified Wednesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said there will be a vote today to eliminate a 90-day timetable for considering the pact. President Bush submitted the accord to Congress on Tuesday without the support of Democratic leaders, who argue that the Colombian government has failed to do enough to halt the assassinations of trade unionists. The Bush administration has countered that the pact will help stabilize the Andean region and open Colombia’s market to U.S. exports. Several cabinet members, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, pushed for approval on Wednesday. The agreement was negotiated under trade promotion authority legislation that requires Congress to vote within 90 days of receiving an accord from the White House. Pelosi is seeking to change the law, based on a provision that allows Congress to override the rules and remove the timetable. That would give majority Democrats the opportunity to delay a vote until at least after the presidential election in November.
– BAYOU SIGNS ACCESSORIES PACT: Ready-to-wear designer Bradley Bayou has inked a licensing deal with Westport Corp. to manufacture two collections of women’s handbags, accessories and small leather goods. The Bradley Bayou brand will retail for $250 to $500 at better retailers in the U.S. and Canada. The Bradley Collection for QVC — selling for $120 to $250 — will premiere on the home shopping channel in September.
– CHARITY SHOW: Schreiber High School in Port Washington, N.Y., will stage its annual charity fashion show April 17 at 6:30 p.m., to benefit The Children’s Heath Fund and its plan to purchase a bus for medical care on wheels to children without health insurance. Fashions from the Hirshleifer’s, Entre, Victor Talbots, Nino’s, Painting With Flowers and Attitudes stores on Long Island will be modeled by students and teachers. There also will be a dance performance. Tickets are $15.