USA

A state of emergency was declared in Benton Harbor, Mich., where hundreds of people rioted for a second night Tuesday, the day after motorcyclist Terrance Shurn was killed in a police chase. The rioters set at least five buildings and five cars on fire in the predominantly black city, where allegations of police harassment are an ongoing source of tension. About 250 law-enforcement officers used tear gas and other nonlethal methods to quell the disturbance early Wednesday.

House Republicans advanced their Medicare plan past sharp objections from Democrats, defending their heavy reliance on the private sector to deliver a new prescription drug benefit. The GOP bill, approved Tuesday by the Ways and Means Committee, would pay a share of seniors' drug bills. But Democrats argued the bill was too stingy, saying it would undermine the Medicare program.

Also on Capitol Hill, the House Intelligence Committee held its first hearing on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. A flap has erupted over whether top Bush administration officials took a harder line on the issue before the war than was supported by solid intelligence. Also at issue is whether intelligence analysts were pressured to produce analyses that would help policymakers make the case for war.

The administration ruled that American catfish farmers and computer chipmakers were subjected to unfair foreign competition and ordered stiff tariffs on imports of Vietnamese catfish and South Korean chips. The Commerce Department rulings Tuesday upheld preliminary determinations made earlier in the year. Both decisions represented major victories for US companies, which had complained about unfair competition.

Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Arizona Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien, who has been charged in a fatal hit-and-run accident. The Vatican said his resignation as leader of Arizona's 430,000 Catholics was accepted under a church law allowing a cleric to quit for illness or "some other grave reason" that makes him "unsuited for the fulfillment of his office." O'Brien also had struck a deal to avoid indictment for allegedly sheltering accused child molesters in the clergy.

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