USA

President Bush's advisers vowed they'll recommend that he veto "trade promotion authority" if the Senate includes an amendment giving Congress more power to change international agreements. The threat came in a letter from senior administration officials to Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D) of Montana. The administration argues that the amendment would undermine the ability of the US to strike new deals by taking anti-dumping laws and other protections against unfairly priced or subsidized imports off the negotiating table.

A substantial earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay Area, rattling the stands at baseball games and hockey playoff games and sending frightened people running from buildings. No injuries or significant damage were reported. The US Geological Service said the quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.2., struck at 10 p.m. Monday and was centered three miles southwest of Gilroy, Calif. Above, Alex Larson salvages what cooking oils he can at The Garlic Shoppe in Gilroy.

The University of Michigan Law School's controversial policy of factoring in race when deciding admissions is legal, a federal appeals court in Detroit ruled. "We find that the Law School has a compelling state interest in achieving a diverse student body," the court said. In December, the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments from lawyers in two consolidated lawsuits that contend Michigan's law school and undergraduate admissions policies discriminate against whites.

After a tightfisted March, US consumers splurged in April, pushing retail sales up 1.2 percent – the biggest increase in six months. The latest sales snapshot released by the Commerce Department Tuesday suggests consumers are helping to support the budding economic recovery by keeping their pocketbooks and wallets open.

White House officials were altering Bush's schedule for his European trip next week to make room for a visit with Pope John Paul II. The meeting is likely to take place May 28 while the president is in Rome to attend a summit between NATO and Russia, administration officials said. It would be unusual for a US president to travel to Rome without a papal meeting, they said.

A mostly white jury was empaneled to hear the murder trial of a former Ku Klux Klansman accused of participating in a 1963 Alabama church bombing that killed four black girls. Defense attorneys and prosecutors Monday chose only four blacks out of 16 jurors for the trial of Bobby Frank Cherry. Which four will be alternates rather than members of the 12-person jury wasn't disclosed.

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