USA

The Supreme Court rejected an American Civil Liberties Union challenge to a Virginia law requiring schoolchildren to observe a daily minute of silence. Without comment, the justices turned down an appeal from opponents who claimed the minute of silence was an unconstitutional government encouragement of prayer in public schools. The state argued that children can choose how to spend the time, as long as they are quiet. Nebraska, Nevada, Tennessee, and West Virginia have similar laws.

The High Court refused to review an Indianapolis law requiring parental consent before children play violent arcade games, which a lower court had struck down as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech. Without comment, the justices rejected an appeal. The city had asked the court to decide whether the games were protected and whether such speech should be judged differently in the interests of children. Opponents said the city failed to prove a link between violent video games and emotional harm to children.

The court also turned back a constitutional challenge to congressional pay increases, refusing to consider reinstating Colorado Republican Rep. Bob Schaffer's suit seeking to block annual cost-of-living adjustments. Schaffer contended the increases violate the 27th Amendment, which forbids congressmen from increasing their own pay while in office.

For the first time since it was built in 1935, the justices met away from the Supreme Court building because it was closed due to traces of anthrax at an off-site mail warehouse. The justices instead heard arguments at the nearby federal court for the District of Columbia. Anthrax bacteria traces also were discovered at a mail facility for the Justice Department. Two Washington postal workers died of anthrax, and a State Department worker and three others are hospitalized with the disease.

President Bush moved to tighten restrictions on immigration to keep "aliens who commit or support terror" from entering the US. He was to announce a new "foreign terrorist tracking force" to coordinate federal efforts to keep those with links to terror groups out of the country, and "locate, detain, prosecute or deport" terror group associates who already live in the US. It was not immediately clear which agencies would work with it.

An Air France Concorde from Paris arrived in New York on a training flight, the airline's first across the Atlantic since its supersonic jets were grounded last year after a crash killed 113 people. British Airways, the only other airline offering Concorde service, completed its first transatlantic test flight Oct. 22. The flights are in preparation for the Concorde's return to full service next week.

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