USA

California Gov. Gray Davis (D) will have to fight for his job this fall in the nation's first gubernatorial recall election in 82 years. Counties across the state reported 1.3 million valid petition signatures, well above the 897,158 required for the recall vote. The only declared major-party candidate so far is US Rep. Darrell Issa (R), who spent $1.71 million of his car-alarm fortune to fund the recall effort. In a show of unity, Democratic officeholders have said they will not run against Davis.

A congressional investigation has concluded that while intelligence failures occurred, there was no specific evidence that indicates the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US could have been prevented. Prior to the attacks, the Central Intelligence Agency failed to act on intelligence it had about hijackers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was unable to crack Al Qaeda in the US, and key National Security Agency intercepts were never circulated, according the 900-page declassified version of the congressional report.

Bowing to pressure from two key allies in the war on terrorism, the Pentagon said it would not seek the death penalty in any military trials of two British subjects and an Australian held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. President Bush on July 3 designated six foreign captives as eligible to be tried before US military commissions.

The House approved a $17.1 billion foreign aid bill including two new initiatives by Bush to fight AIDS in Africa and poverty around the world. Democratic Party critics said the AIDS funding was short of what was promised and needed. But their attempt to add more funding was defeated. The legislation passed, 370-50, after the House rejected an attempt to add Saudi Arabia to five other nations - all on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism - that are ineligible for US aid.

A congressional effort to restore ownership restrictions on media companies shifts to the Senate now that the House has voted to prevent a single company from owning enough television stations to reach more than 35 percent of the nation's viewers. Despite a White House veto threat, the House Wednesday easily approved a spending bill that included a provision that would roll back a Federal Communications Commission decision overhauling decades-old restrictions on media ownership.

In what Mayor Michael Bloom-berg (R) called an attack that "strikes at the heart of democracy," New York City Councilman James Davis, a former police officer and ordained minister who campaigned against urban violence, was shot and killed by a political rival in City Hall Wednesday afternoon. The gunman, Othniel Askew, entered the building as Davis's guest, bypassing metal detectors through which all other visitors had to walk. That prompted Bloomberg to order metal detector checks for everyone.

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