USA

President Bush and other senior administration officials voiced confidence in CIA director George Tenet after the latter took responsibility Friday for faulty intelligence on Iraq. Tenet said the claim that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium from Niger - which the White House renounced last week - should not have appeared in Bush's State of the Union address. Speaking in Abuja, Nigeria, at the end of a five-day trip to Africa, Bush said he "absolutely" trusts Tenet and his agency and considered the matter closed. Several senior Democrats in Congress are demanding an investigation of the issue.

Heavy tariffs imposed by the administration on steel imports are illegal, the World Trade Organization ruled Friday. US trade officials indicated they would appeal the decision, which paves the way for a possible $2.2 billion in retaliatory duties by the European Union. Bush approved the three-year duties last year to allow the domestic steel industry to restructure after a string of bankruptcies blamed on cheap, subsidized steel from overseas.

Denver Mayor Wellington Webb (D) pledged a quick and open review of the fatal shooting of a developmentally disabled black teenager by police. Webb spoke Saturday at a memorial service for Paul Childs, at which the noted attorney Johnnie Cochran said he would help the victim's family sue the city. Childs was shot July 5 after allegedly refusing to put down a knife, when police responded to a 911 call made by his family.

A hurricane watch was in effect for the southern coast of Texas as tropical storm Claudette advanced across the Gulf of Mexico. The storm is expected to be at or above hurricane strength by the time it makes landfall, perhaps as early as Tuesday. Claudette caused some flooding and temporarily halted flights at the international airport in CancĂșn, Mexico, as it swept over the popular tourist city Friday.

A fuel tanker explosion near Lynwood, Wash., caused extensive traffic jams Saturday on I-5, the main north-south highway on the West Coast. The driver escaped with only minor injuries, and no others were reported hurt. Investigators said they suspect the tanker scraped a guard rail, causing sparks that ignited the blast.

"Man the ship and bring her to life," former first lady Nancy Reagan declared at the commissioning of the USS Ronald Reagan Saturday at Norfolk Naval Station, Va. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is the first named after a living president. Vice President Cheney and Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (D) also attended the ceremony.

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