USA

Six months after the worst terrorist attack in US history, President Bush told a gathering, "Sept. 11 was not the beginning of global terror, but it was the beginning of the world's concerted response." On hand for the ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House were 300 survivors of the attacks, as well as families of some victims and more than 150 diplomats from nations that have joined the US coalition to counter terrorism. "Against such an enemy, there is no immunity, and there can be no neutrality," Bush said. (Related stories, pages 1, 2, 3, 12; opinion, page 9.)

New Yorkers paused for moments of silence at 8:46 a.m. and again at 9:03 a.m., the precise times when two hijacked airliners slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center Sept. 11. (Above, police at the 76th Precinct station in Brooklyn honor fallen comrades.) "The Sphere," a cracked, 45,000-pound sculpture recovered from the Trade Center, was dedicated at a temporary memorial, and vertical beams of light will illuminate the sky each night until April 13. There were other observances for the Pentagon, and at a field in rural Pennsylvania, where a forth hijacked plane crashed. It's believed the passengers of that jet tried to overpower their captors.

Gas prices are likely to rise further, after climbing almost 9 cents per gallon on average during the past two weeks, analysts said. The biggest price hike in almost a year is due to rising crude oil prices - amid concerns of a possible new conflict in the Middle East - and comes as warmer spring weather brings an annual spike in demand.

The British government was seeking a last-minute pardon for death-row inmate Tracy Lee Housel, ahead of his scheduled execution tonight in Georgia. Housel, who has dual British-US citizenship, was convicted of a 1986 rape and murder, and has admitted another killing. Opponents of the death penalty want his sentence commuted to life in prison.

Duke, Kansas, Maryland, and Cincinnati drew the No. 1 seeds for this year's National Collegiate Athletic Association men's basketball championship tournament. Duke is the defending men's champion. Opening round play begins today. Duke also was one of the top seeds for the companion women's tournament, along with Vanderbilt, Connecticut, and Oklahoma.

In the last big Hollywood awards before the Oscars, the Screen Actors Guild named its choices for last year's best performances Sunday. Russell Crowe won best male lead for his role in "A Beautiful Mind." Halle Berry won best female lead for "Monster's Ball." Both are nominated for Academy Awards, which will be announced March 24 in Los Angeles.

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