USA

"Work is the pathway to dignity and to freedom and to self-respect," President Bush said on a visit to Charleston, S.C., urging the Senate to boost work requirements for welfare recipients. Congress must renew 1996 welfare reform legislation, and Bush favors a House version that would add 10 hours to the 30 hours of work per week now required. The president also attended a fundraiser for Republican Mark Sanford, who is running for governor. Vice President Cheney also was out fundraising in support of GOP candidates in Fargo, N.D., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Two out of three Merrill Lynch executives are expected to refuse to testify, when they appear Tuesday at a Senate subcommittee hearing on the Enron collapse. Last week, the panel grilled bankers from Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase, saying financial institutions helped the bankrupt energy trader hide debts and inflate profits. Merrill Lynch has said it believed at the time that employees acted properly.

Three firefighters battling a 1,500-acre blaze in California died, and two others were injured, when their truck fell off a narrow mountain road in the Klamath National Forest near the Oregon line. Fourteen firefighters have died this summer combating wildfires in the drought-stricken West.

The state of Pennsylvania is investigating the accident that left nine coal miners trapped for three days, Gov. Mark Schweiker (R) told the ABC's "Good Morning America." The state's Department of Environmental Protection will check maps for the abandoned and water-filled shaft that the miners apparently struck – but was thought to be more than 300 feet away. "Hopefully, we'll get to the bottom of it," Schweiker said.

A pilot with Delta Air Lines regional carrier ASA is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, after reportedly failing a breath test for alcohol. An official at Wilmington (N.C.) International Airport said a crew member was blocked from boarding an Atlanta-bound ASA flight Sunday morning. Two America West pilots were arrested recently in Miami for allegedly trying to fly while inebriated.

Authorities in Hawaii are warning visitors flocking to the Kilauea volcano of the dangers posed by noxious fumes and unstable ground. The volcano has been erupting for 19 years, but began a more active phase May 12, releasing a massive flow of fiery lava toward the Pacific.

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