Cleanups and damage assessments were under way in eight states devastated by dozens of tornadoes Sunday and Monday, as the huge storm system continued eastward. At least 37 people were killed and 10 others were missing. Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown was visiting affected areas in Kansas and Missouri Tuesday. The latter's governor, Robert Holden (D), has asked President Bush to declare federal disasters in 39 counties. Holden Monday toured Pierce City, Mo., a town of 1,400 where almost every building was damaged or destroyed.Skip to next paragraph
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Joining a crowded field of Democrats, Sen. Robert Graham of Florida was formally announcing his bid for the party's 2004 presidential nomination at his home town, Miami Lakes. The ex-governor described himself as the party's most experienced and electable candidate. Graham also took aim at Bush on the economy and on the war in Iraq. "Instead of pursuing the most imminent and real threats to our future - terrorism - this Bush administration chose to settle old scores," Graham said in remarks released in advance of a speech due at press time.
The US will cooperate fully in international efforts to find stolen Iraqi artifacts from the national museum in Baghdad, Attorney General Ashcroft pledged at a conference of law- enforcement and art experts in Paris. Evidence indicates that organized crime groups, not merely civilians, were responsible, he added.
About a dozen detainees are being released this week from the US Navy facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military officials said, even as another 30 suspected terrorism supporters from Afghanistan are due to arrive. Amid protests from some of the 42 countries whose nationals are being held, and by human rights groups, the Defense and State departments reportedly are working out ways to speed up decisions on which of the roughly 660 detainees to prosecute or question further, and which to let go.
Police investigating a mass poisoning at a church in New Sweden, Maine, say they believe Daniel Bondeson was responsible but may not have acted alone. Bondeson died of a gunshot wound Friday, less than a week after arsenic-laced coffee killed one person and made 15 others ill after services at the tiny community's Lutheran Church. Authorities have yet to determine whether Bondeson's death was a homicide or suicide. The case has attracted national attention.