USA

The Arthur Andersen accounting firm's fall from grace appeared all but sealed after a jury in Houston Saturday convicted it of obstruction of justice. Jurors said a memo by Andersen lawyer Nancy Temple suggesting changes to a press release that announced a revised Enron earnings statement convinced them of the company's guilt. "It's against the law to alter the document with the intent to impair the fact-finding ability of an official proceeding," jury foreman Oscar Criner (above), told reporters. Andersen will appeal. (Story, page 2.)

President Bush early this year directed the CIA to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, using covert means, the Washington Post reported Sunday. The order included authorization to use lethal force to capture Saddam, the Post said, citing sources. Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle told "Fox News Sunday" that Congress had been consulted about the move but expressed some reservations about the timing.

Roman Catholic bishops left their meeting Saturday with a sex-abuse policy that gives rank-and-file members of the faith an unprecedented role in policing the church. Guidelines adopted Friday in Dallas are designed to keep abusive clergy away from parishioners, although they will not automatically be ousted from the priesthood. The policy, however, is subject to approval by the Vatican. (Story, page 2.)

A renewed Bush administration focus on urban needs and issues was welcomed by the nation's mayors Saturday, as their annual meeting opened in Madison, Wis. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Mel Martinez described a renewed push to expand home ownership among minorities and to build more affordable housing. Bush said he wants to remove obstacles "that prevent minorities from owning a piece of the American dream."

A Florida Muslim leader with ties to "dirty bomb" suspect Jose Padilla was arrested last week and is being held for an immigration violation, the Immigration and Naturalization Service said. Adham Hassoun was a leader of the al-Iman mosque in Broward County, which Padilla attended while converting to Islam in the 1990s. Hassoun also founded a chapter of the Benevolence International Foundation, a Muslim charity the US says has ties to Osama bin Laden.

As firefighters gained ground on a blaze threatening Denver, another in the southwest corner of the state forced the evacuation of more than 80 homes near Durango. The latter fire had burned more than 20,000 acres in the San Juan National Forest by Sunday morning.

Crew members aboard the shuttle Endeavour stowed gear and tested systems as they headed toward Earth for a landing today. Astronauts Carl Walz and Daniel Bursch and Russian Yury Onufrienko will have spent a record 194 days in space. (Story, page 3.)

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