USA

President Bush is pressing the Senate to approve a ban on the cloning of human beings for use in research and the treatment of disease. Long an opponent of human cloning, Bush spoke yesterday to 175 doctors, scientists, lawmakers, religious activists, and disabled people to mobilize bipartisan support behind a complete ban. The cloning legislation joins a growing pile of bills that Bush favors and that have passed the House but stalled in the Senate.

Texas Democratic candidate Ron Kirk (above) won his party's primary runoff and will run for the US Senate seat being vacated by Republican Phil Gramm. Kirk, who stepped down as Dallas's mayor last year, would be the first black Senator from Texas if he beats Republican state attorney general John Cornyn in November. He completes what some have called a "Democratic dream team" of African-American, Hispanic, and white candidates for Texas general elections this fall.

In a shooting rampage that rocked Dover Township, N.J., veteran police officer Edward Lutes killed five of his neighbors and wounded his boss before shooting himself, authorities said. A manhunt ended when Lutes was found dead in his car about 15 miles away. The town is still reeling from a similar incident last February, in which a retired police officer allegedly killed four people, including his granddaughter.

A "museum of freedom and remembrance" would be a major feature of the World Trade Center area, along with a hub of offices and homes, under a plan announced by the agency in charge of rebuilding the site. The proposal, which envisions Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the New York Stock Exchange, and a trade center memorial as key elements of a "freedom park," is still just a rough blueprint that will go through months or years of discussions before it is finalized.

In a new development in the unsolved 1996 slayings of two Virginia hikers, a man has been indicted for capital murder and committing a hate crime on the basis of sexual orientation, the Justice Department said yesterday. Darrell David Rice, charged with killing the women in Shenandoah National Park, has been in jail in Charlottesville, Va., since 1999 in connection with an unrelated abduction case, authorities said.

Lynne Stewart, an attorney with a reputation for defending unpopular clients, pleaded "emphatically not guilty" to charges that she aided terrorism by conspiring to help an imprisoned client relay messages to his radical Islamic followers. Fellow defense attorneys labeled the case a political prosecution designed to discourage vigorous defense of accused terrorists. The indictment claims Stewart and three others helped cleric Omar Abdel-Rahman, a leader of a terrorist organization linked to Al Qaeda.

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