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Secretary of State Colin Powell urged Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to implement a cease-fire and appealed to Israel to use restraint in response to Friday's suicide bomb attack in Tel Aviv that killed 20 people. Signaling a greater US role in the Middle East, Powell canceled plans to go to Costa Rica and spoke several times over the weekend with Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Arafat called for a cease fire Saturday, and Israel's Cabinet said it would give him 24 hours to enforce it.

Despite reports to the contrary, Sen. John McCain of Arizona said he has no plans to leave the Republican Party or run for president in 2004 on a third-party ticket. As Democrats were poised to take over the Senate this week, McCain and Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota were spending the weekend at the former's ranch. That prompted speculation that McCain was considering leaving the GOP. While such a move is not imminent, reports said McCain plans to work toward building a centrist faction within the GOP to mirror the so-called "New Democrats."

Lawyers representing hundreds of people injured or killed in Ford Explorers equipped with Firestone tires asked a federal judge to force the automaker to recall 4 million of the vehicles. The recall request covers all Explorers made from the model's introduction in 1990 through this year. The lawyers contend the best-selling sport utility vehicle is unsafe and cannot be fixed. A Ford spokesman pointed to a decade of federal statistics that show the Explorer is "one of the safest vehicles on the road."

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A five-day standoff between five children and sheriff's deputies near Garfield Bay, Idaho, ended Saturday when the children agreed to go into protective custody. Their mother, JoAnn McGuckin, was arrested for neglect early last week and the children then withdrew to their isolated home. Authorities sent to take them held back when the youths unleashed 27 dogs and reportedly brandished firearms. They agreed to leave after negotiators promised to help the family stay together.

More than 2,000 Cincinnati residents peacefully protested economic conditions and police conduct in the city where rioting broke out in April after an unarmed black man was shot by a white officer. Protesters of all races chanted for change and marched through the Over-the Rhine neighborhood, where Timothy Thomas was shot as he fled; he was facing misdemeanor charges. Eight of the marchers were arrested for blocking traffic.

Actress and comedienne Imogene Coca, who died in Westport, Conn., costarred with Sid Caesar on TV's classic "Your Show of Shows" in the 1950s. A talented singer and dancer, she was known for her boundless energy in the medium's so-called "Golden Age." In 1951, she won an Emmy as best actress. Although she also was adept at broad burlesque, her forte was subtle exaggeration.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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