USA

The Bush administration flatly dismissed Iraq's offer to readmit UN arms inspectors as inadequate and untrustworthy. Secretary of State Powell said he'd continue to seek a new UN Security Council resolution on Iraq; Treasury Secretary O'Neill told cable-TV channel CNBC that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is "a proven liar" who "has got to go." And an unidentified senior White House official told reporters, "It is even more important now for the Congress and the United Nations to act." The Senate Armed Services Committee was to hear closed-door testimony Tuesday on Iraq from CIA director George Tenet and other senior officials.

President Bush also was expected to weigh in on Iraq, during a trip to Tennessee. He was to attend a fundraiser for the GOP Senate campaign of Lamar Alexander in Nashville, and to participate in Memphis in leading schoolchildren nationwide in the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag. The annual "Pledge Across America" has gained prominence since a federal court in San Francisco ruled the pledge unconstitutional.

Industrial production declined 0.3 percent in August at the nation's factories, mines, and utilities, the Federal Reserve reported. The drop was the first in eight months and added to concerns of weakening economic recovery. Analysts had anticipated a rise of 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent.

Bill McBride was set to be certified as Florida's Democratic nominee for governor, with rival Janet Reno expected to concede defeat, a week after a primary vote marred by technical problems reminiscent of the disputed 2000 presidential election. Reno backed away Monday from a threatened lawsuit to force a recount. But her campaign manager suggested the former US attorney general may sue incumbent Jeb Bush (R) for failing to properly implement electoral reforms. Bush's campaign maintains the fault lies with county election officials.

Due to concerns about their safety, three Muslim medical students were asked by Miami's Larkin Community Hospital to pursue their training elsewhere. They were the focus of a massive security alert Friday, after a woman told police she overheard them in a Georgia restaurant discussing another Sept. 11-style terrorist attack. The men deny having had such a conversation.

A San Diego jury recommended the death penalty for David Westerfield in the murder of neighbor Danielle van Dam. The child was abducted from her home in February. A judge will decide whether to OK the sentence Nov. 22. At another high-profile trial, a San Jose jury Wednesday begins considering the sentence for Cary Stayner, convicted in the 1999 slayings of three Yosemite National Park tourists. The panel Monday found him sane, and thus legally responsible, for the crime.

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