USA

Concluding a "really good meeting" with French leader Jacques Chirac (below, r.) at the Group of Eight summit in √Čvian, France, President Bush (l.) said they clearly differ on the Iraq war, "but that doesn't mean we have to be disagreeable to each other." They concur on the goals of creating a free, healthy, and prosperous Iraq, Bush added, before leaving the gathering a day early to meet with Arab and Israeli leaders. Chirac's spokeswoman, meanwhile, said French special forces would join in the US-led stabilization operation in Afghanistan. In a further display of unity, leaders of the world's seven wealthiest democracies, plus Russia, issued a flurry of joint statements pledging, among other issues, to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction and shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles, which could knock down civilian passenger jets; to resolve differences in deadlocked global trade talks; and to promote corporate ethics. They also criticized the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran. (Related stories, pages 1, 6.)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as expected, approved a controversial relaxation of media ownership rules that have barred companies from controlling newspapers and broadcast outlets in the same city. The 3-to-2 vote fell along party lines. Countering the claims of critics, FCC chairman Michael Powell, a Republican, said the changes "will advance our goals of diversity and localism." Media companies that want further deregulation and consumer groups that oppose it have indicated they will challenge the new rules in court.

The Air Force is looking into the possible presence of low-level radioactive waste buried on as many as 80 current and former bases, The Wall Street Journal reported. Among sites on the list is a newly built federal prison in Atwater, Calif., the Journal said.

The threat of floods and mudslides prompted police to advise evacuation of 700 homes in the Vail, Colo., area. Heavy rains combined with runoff from the melting snowpack sent the Gore and Bighorn Creeks above their banks and were blamed for a 20-foot sinkhole that opened beneath I-70. A 24-mile stretch of the main mountain highway will be closed for several days, state officials said.

At least five people were injured during a riot at a federal prison Sunday in Lompoc, Calif., police said. Four of the injured were identified as workers at the maximum-security facility. It wasn't immediately known what touched off the unrest.

A fast-moving grass fire that consumed 2,000 acres near Tracy, Calif., threatening power lines but no homes, was about 50 percent under control late Sunday, a state forestry spokeswoman said. The blaze erupted one day before the official start of California's summer wildfire season.

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