USA

A draft resolution on Iraq that authorizes President Bush to use "all means that he determines to be appropriate, including force" was sent to Congress. "If you want to keep the peace, you've got to have the authorization to use force," Bush said after a meeting with Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Powell, and other officials. Congressional leaders have pledged to vote on some form of resolution before the November elections. Powell and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld were to testify before congressional panels on the administration's Iraq policy.

Bush was to voice support for compromise legislation creating a Homeland Security Department in a speech at a security command center, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. The measure has stalled in the Senate, where majority Democrats object to Bush's demand for broad power to hire, fire, and deploy the department's envisioned 170,000 workers. A proposal by Sen. Phil Gramm (R) of Texas and Sen. Zell Miller (D) of Georgia, would expand the president's flexibility on personnel while preserving key civil service rights.

A wide-ranging crackdown on dealers who sold the "date rape" drug GHB via the Internet has netted 115 arrests in 84 cities in the US and Canada, Attorney General Ashcroft announced. Operation Web Slinger involved operations in St. Louis; Detroit; San Diego; Mobile, Ala.; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Canada's Quebec City. The Drug Enforcement Administration said the banned substance, popular with teens, is to blame for at least 72 deaths.

Pending a judge's ruling, a $10 million settlement of a sex-abuse lawsuit against Boston's Roman Catholic Archdiocese was to be accepted Thursday, an attorney for 86 plaintiffs said. All claim they or their children were abused by ex-priest John Geoghan, whose case touched off a nationwide scandal. The expected settlement came a day after another suit accused the archdiocese of conspiring for 50 years to conceal alleged misconduct by priests, one of them still active.

At the Latin Grammy Awards in Hollywood, Cuban septuagenarian Celia Cruz won best salsa album, and multiple standing ovations. Twenty-two other nominees from her country were unable to get visas to attend. Spain's Alejandro Sanz won album, song, and record of the year. Last year's awards ceremony, scheduled for Sept. 11, was canceled.

Miami residents were warned of possible flooding as tropical storm Isidore approached. The storm was moving across western Cuba Thursday on a path toward the US Gulf Coast.

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