USA

The world must "deal harshly" with Hamas and those who kill innocent people with the intent of preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state, President Bush said Sunday. In his most extensive comments since a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence last week threw his Middle East peace "road map" into turmoil, Bush said he still believes peace is possible. Meanwhile, in an address to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Congress Saturday, Secretary of State Powell said the US "will never waver" in its determination to push for peace in the region. He called on Israel and the Palestinians to turn their "courageous commitments into peace on the ground."

Days after comparing some Roman Catholic bishops to the mafia, the former Oklahoma governor appointed to lead a panel examining the priest sex-abuse scandal was planning to resign. The Los Angeles Times reported that Frank Keating will leave as head of the church's National Review Board this week, before the bishops' semiannual meeting. Keating's spokesman conceded the timing was "awkward," but said the move was planned a while ago.

At least nine people died and two others were reported missing when a fishing boat they'd chartered capsized in choppy seas off Oregon's northern coast. Eight others survived after swimming hundreds of yards to shore or being rescued by firefighters and bystanders. The 32-foot Taki Tooo capsized in heavy surf Saturday as it sailed out of Tillamook Bay past a 1,000 yard-jetty, an area known for high waves and swirling currents. Local authorities and the National Transportation Safety Board launched investigations.

AmeriCorps is expected to cut funding for some of the more than 2,000 nonprofit and other groups it supports. The Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, Monday is expected to announce its first round of program grants for the coming year, leaving off the list some programs that have received funding in the past, a spokes- man said. He declined to say how many groups would be affected by the cuts.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said he's "throwing down a marker" with a $300,000 television ad campaign designed to set himself apart from the field of Democratic presidential candidates. Dean is scheduled to launch the first TV commercials of the 2004 presidential election cycle Tuesday when he begins airing his ads in virtually all markets in Iowa, where precinct caucuses in January will launch the presidential-nominating season.

CORRECTION: An item in this space Friday, June 13, should have referred to NBC-TV's nightly newscast between 1956 and 1970 as "The Huntley-Brinkley Report."

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