USA

War would serve neither Pakistan's nor India's interests, the White House said, urging both to resist a third conflict over disputed Kashmir. Easing tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals is a top priority for President Bush, press secretary Ari Fleischer said. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage are scheduled to visit the region next week. In the meantime, USA Today reported plans to evacuate 60,000 Americans from both countries. (Related story, page 1; Editorial, page 10.)

New guidelines will ease restrictions on FBI surveillance of public events, the Internet, and religious and political groups, while taking care not to infringe on civil liberties, Justice Department officials said. Attorney General Ashcroft was to unveil several measures to streamline the way the agency initiates and pursues investigations, a day after he and FBI director Robert Mueller declared counterterrorism would be the agency's top priority. The FBI has been under fire for missing warnings that critics say might have averted the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

After an 18-month break, a revamped V-22 Osprey resumed test flights at the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, Md., Wednesday. The Osprey (above), a helicopter/plane hybrid with a price tag of $89.7 million each, is being built for the Marine Corps by Boeing Co. and Bell Helicopters Textron. The aircraft was grounded in 2000 following two crashes that killed 23 Marines.

Environmentalists praised a Bush decision to protect the Florida Everglades by buying oil and drilling rights in the area for $235 million. But they called for similar action for wilderness areas in Alaska and the Rocky Mountains that the administration wants to open to energy development. Critics suggested the president's move was designed to aid the reelection campaign of his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R).

A shooting incident in a Milwaukee courtroom resulted in the death of a murder defendant and the wounding of a deputy sheriff. Following his conviction by a jury Wednesday, Laron Bell tried to escape by seizing a gun from the deputy. A police officer who'd testified against Bell and was still in the room then shot and killed him.

The Detroit Red Wings have a one-game, home-ice advantage against the Colorado Avalanche tonight for the final berth in the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup championship series. The winner will play the Carolina Hurricanes for the cup beginning Tuesday. (Related story, page 3.)

The Grinch and the Cat in the Hat are part of a new national memorial to children's author Dr. Seuss opening today in Springfield, Mass. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, is being remembered in his home town with a sculpture garden of bronze figures designed for climbing by young fans.

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