USA

President Bush has made sweeping changes to the rules that govern military courts-martial, allowing some criminals to be sentenced to life in prison without parole and judges to order witnesses not to talk to reporters. The new rules, announced Friday by the White House, also spell out for the first time provisions for prosecuting military personnel for adultery. To qualify for prosecution, the adultery must either damage military order and discipline or hurt the military's reputation. The rules take effect May 15.

Refusing to bow to mounting criticism over his handling of alleged cases of child sex abuse, Boston's Roman Catholic archbishop, Bernard Law, told priests in a letter Friday that he will not step down. Law, the nation's highest-ranking prelate, said he remains "determined to provide the strongest leadership possible" to help resolve the crisis that has shaken the Catholic community. Calls for his resignation – from within and without the church – have been intensifying. Above, Cathy Mooney (right) and Carolyn Dobies protest outside Law's residence. (See story, page 3.)

At his first Florida appearance since the 2000 election recount, Al Gore lashed out at the White House's domestic priorities and urged party activists to stand up and fight. In his highest-profile speech since emerging in February from a year of political seclusion, the former vice president told the Florida Democratic Convention on Saturday, "Here in America, patriotism does not mean keeping quiet." On the economy, environment, and values, he declared, "[The Bush] administration is following the same pattern: selling out America's future in return for short-term political gains."

The existence of photographs showing US soldiers posing with Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh, handcuffed and wearing a blindfold with an obscenity written across it, could support claims by his lawyers that Lindh was mistreated in military custody. A disclosure by military officials Friday marked at least the third troublesome incident for the Defense Department involving photos of Lindh, the 21-year-old Californian captured in Afghanistan. He is accused of training with Al Qaeda terrorists and charged with conspiring to kill Americans.

The Internal Revenue Service mistakenly paid out more than $30 million in 2000 and 2001 to tax filers seeking nonexistent tax credits for slavery, according to a Treasury Department investigation. And evidence is mounting that a growing number of black taxpayers are being misled by scams falsely claiming that, for a fee, they can get tax credits or refunds as reparations for slavery. The IRS received more than 77,000 tax returns last year claiming $2.7 billion in reparations refunds, up from 13,000 the year before.

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