USA

A monument to the Ten Commandments was removed from the rotunda of Alabama's Judicial Building Wednesday morning, while dozens of protesters prayed on the steps outside. The controversial 2.6-ton granite marker (above), installed by Chief Justice Roy Moore two years ago, was taken to a location elsewhere in the building - but out of public view - in compliance with a federal court order issued last year. A hearing to consider a lawsuit to keep the monument in public view was canceled.

The reconstruction of Iraq will require tens of billions of dollars next year, top US civil administrator Paul Bremer told The Washington Post. In the capital for meetings expected to focus on funding, Bremer offered evidence that the price of the Iraqi occupation is growing substantially and that oil revenue alone will not cover the bill for the country's economic needs.

California's State Labor Federation, representing 2.1 million members, endorsed Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante (D) for governor if Gray Davis is ousted Oct. 7. The move marks a strategic shift for the federation, which earlier led a fierce opposition against the recall vote. Analysts said it also brings the two politicians closer together in an effort to keep a Democrat in power. Bustamante welcomed the endorsement, saying, "I'm pleased that the Democratic family is coming together to embrace the idea that voting 'no' is not enough."

Former Army scientist Steven Hatfill sued the Justice Department and the FBI Tuesday, alleging they violated his privacy by insinuating he was behind the anthrax-laced mailings in late 2001 that killed five people. The suit alleges that Attorney General John Ashcroft and other officials "coordinated a smear campaign" to give the appearance that progress had been made in the case. A Justice Department spokesman said the officials would have no comment.

A gunman was in police custody after a shooting rampage in a Chicago auto parts warehouse that reportedly killed at least one person and wounded others. Police said they believed the suspect was a "disgruntled employee."

A school bus carrying 20 children overturned on a rural road in Illinois, injuring at least 16, authorities said. Greg Nimmo, the 911 director of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, confirmed there were no fatalities. He said some of the students, ranging from kindergarten through high school age, were airlifted from the scene.

Almost 4,000 Yale University workers went on strike over wages, pensions, and job security as students returned to campus for the fall semester. A Yale spokesman said the university would continue operating with the help of managers and temporary staff. It is the second strike of the year at Yale.

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