USA

Throwing open the Democratic race, ex-Vice President Gore said he won't run again for president in 2004. In an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" program Sunday, Gore said a rematch against President Bush "would inevitably involve a focus on the past" - a reference to the contentious count of the 2000 vote. Among possible contenders for the Democratic nomination are Sens. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut - Gore's running mate in 2000, outgoing majority leader Tom Daschle, John Kerry of Massachusetts, and John Edwards of North Carolina; US Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri; and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.

A strike that would leave 7 million daily commuters stranded was averted temporarily. The union representing New York's bus and subway workers suspended a Monday midnight deadline and agreed to continue negotiations on a new three-year contract with the Metro-politan Transit Authority. An injunction issued by a state Supreme Court justice in Brooklyn would impose a fine of two days' pay for each day of the walkout.

In the first challenge from within his own party to incoming Senate majority leader Trent Lott (R), Sen. Don Nickles of Oklahoma, the chamber's second-ranked Republican, called for a meeting to consider Lott's replacement. In an ABC-TV interview Sunday, Nickles expressed concern that Lott "has been weakened" by controversy over recent remarks on segregation. At least two other senior GOP senators voiced support for a party gathering to either back Lott, or remove him.

The Vatican gave formal approval of a revised policy to address sexual abuses by clergy, in a move expected after a joint commission resolved its objections to a plan put forward by US Roman Catholic bishops in June. The announcement came three days after Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Boston Cardinal Bernard Law. His archdiocese has been at the center of the first claims in what became a nationwide scandal.

Following a quick decontamination, the Carnival cruise ship Conquest sailed again Sunday, after arriving in New Orleans earlier in the day with 260 ill passengers and crew. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating more than 20 similar outbreaks on cruise ships. Carnival officials stressed, however, that such ailments are common and not unique to cruises.

Keith Henderson, who passed on recently in South Pomfret, Vermont, was deputy editor of the Monitor editorial page. He held a number of senior writing and editing positions, including editor of the editorial page, during his many years of Monitor service. He joined the staff in 1974 after graduating from the University of California, Davis, with an undergraduate degree in political science.

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