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By Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn and Kristen Broman-Worthington / August 20, 2003



Spurred by the recent massive Northeast blackout, Congress will work quickly to revise and approve pending energy legislation, President Bush (above) said in Crawford, Texas, where he's vacationing at his ranch. Bush said he'd spoken by phone with leading Republicans in the House and Senate, who are "very confident" about reaching an agreement in conference committee that would involve a mandatory reliability standard for utilities as well as incentives to invest in infrastructure. A joint inquiry by US and Canadian officials into the power outage is set to begin Wednesday. On a separate issue, Bush praised the capture of Iraq's former vice president, then cut short a golf game to monitor developments after the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad. (Related story, page 1; editorial, page 8.)

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Shortly before the blast, Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona said more US troops are needed in Iraq, due to increasingly sophisticated attacks. McCain, a member of the Armed Services Committee, spoke on NBC-TV's "Today" show on a visit to Baghdad. He didn't specify how many soldiers should be added to the 140,000 already in Iraq.

The former head of a Muslim charity was sentenced to 11 years in prison Monday by a federal judge in Chicago. Enaam Arnaout had pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge for funneling funds from his Benevolence International Foundation - which raised money for widows, orphans, and refugees - to Muslim fighters in Bosnia and Chechnya in the 1990s.

All 32 state child-welfare systems evaluated failed a federal review. The Child and Family Service Reviews found the programs deficient in protecting foster children from abuse and in finding permanent homes for them. States could lose millions of dollars in federal aid if they fail to make improvements in a few years. The reviews mark the first government accounting on behalf of the almost 550,000 children in foster care and the estimated half million others under state supervision.

Two people were reported dead, one of them the gunman, in a shooting at an auto supply plant in Andover, Ohio. Two women were being treated for injuries from the attack at the Andover Industries plant, 40 miles east of Cleveland.

A proposal to sell ads on school buses in Florida's Miami-Dade County will be taken up Wednesday by the school board, The Miami Herald reported. Supporters say the ads for products such as backpacks, school supplies, and milk could bring in up to $2 million a year. About 170,000 of the county's 375,000 students ride the buses.

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