USA

President Bush said the killing by US soldiers of Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, would reassure Iraqis that the ousted leader's rule would never return. Speaking at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden, Bush vowed the US would defeat the guerilla movement that is carrying out deadly attacks on American troops almost daily, describing the insurgents as "a few remaining holdouts."

The Army approved a plan to relieve soldiers serving in Iraq by rotating in one-for-one replacements, thereby keeping the overall troop strength at around 145,000. Officials said the plan has been sent to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld for review. The subject of replacement troops has been a sensitive issue because soldiers with the 3rd Infantry Division have been in Iraq since last fall and some have complained bitterly about delays in their homecoming.

Storm systems packing winds of up to 100 m.p.h. tore across large swaths of the East, killing at least six people and knocking out electricity for hundreds of thousands of customers. Memphis, Tenn., was among the hardest-hit, with hundreds of trees down, homes and businesses damaged, and entertainment landmarks endangered. More storms rippled across the region Wednesday, soaking parts of the South, East Coast, and Ohio Valley.

The House voted overwhelmingly to roll back a key "sneak and peek" provision in the controversial Patriot Act passed soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The move would block the Justice Department from using any funds to take advantage of the section of the act that allows it to secretly search the homes of suspects and only later inform them that a warrant had been issued.

States raised $10.6 billion in new taxes and fees this year to keep government programs running, a report released by the National Conference of State Legislators said. The "guardedly optimistic" report predicted stronger revenue growth than in the past three years and an overall increase in state spending of 1 percent.

The Army Corps of Engineers has until Friday to lower Missouri River water levels or pay $500,000 for each day it disobeys a federal court order to cut the flow. In Washington, District Judge Gladys Kessler cited the corps and the secretary of the Army for contempt Tuesday and warned she might impose "more draconian" penalties if river depths are not reduced. She ordered levels dropped in a July 12 injunction sought by conservation groups that are suing to alter the Missouri's flow to protect endangered species, such as the Pallid Sturgeon.

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