USA

Amid brewing tensions with Saudi Arabia over a recent report into the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Bush administration rejected calls by the Saudi government and some members of Congress to declassify 28 pages of the intelligence report that purportedly outline suspected links between Saudi officials and some of the 9/11 hijackers - 15 of whom were Saudi nationals. Releasing the material would compromise national security and "possibly interfere with the investigation" into the attacks, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. President Bush was scheduled to meet later in the day with the Saudi foreign minister and US ambassador.

Airlines and US law-enforcement agencies have been warned that Al Qaeda terrorists may be plotting more Sept. 11-style attacks in late summer, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed. But the agency said its intelligence pointed at no specific dates or targets, and as the Monitor went to press, the nation's terror alert remained at yellow, the third-highest level.

For the second time, a band of Texas state lawmakers bolted out of state to block passage of a contentious congressional redistricting bill. Eleven of 12 Senate Democrats flew to Albuquerque, N.M., Monday, leaving the chamber without the quorum needed for a vote when Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) gaveled a special session to order. In May, House Democrats held up a vote on the measure, which favors Republican candidates, by decamping to Oklahoma.

The number of Americans newly diagnosed with AIDS rose 2.2 percent last year, the first increase in a decade, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday. The agency also said HIV cases among homosexual and bisexual men were up 7.1 percent in the 25 states with established reporting procedures. CDC officials said the latest figures figures reflect growing complacency about risky behaviors associated with the disease.

Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger probably won't run for governor of California if an Oct. 7 recall of incumbent Gray Davis (D) succeeds, a senior adviser said Monday. A decision is expected this week. The action-movie star has been among the most eagerly anticipated potential candidates.

Consumer confidence plunged in July according to a report by the Conference Board. The New York-based business research group's index - considered a key indicator of future spending - fell to 76.6 this month from a reading of 83.5 in June. Analysts had anticipated a modest increase.

Firefighters were planning more small burnouts to deprive three blazes at Montana's Glacier National Park of fuel, with several hundred nearby residents told to evacuate. Montana is one of 12 Western states with active wildfires.

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