USA

The Senate was set to give final approval to $87 billion in funding for Iraq and Afghanistan. The measure, passed Friday by the House, makes the aid available as grants, as President Bush had demanded. While Democrats stepped up criticism of the administration's Iraq policy following the deaths of 16 soldiers in a helicopter downing Sunday, Sen. Joseph Biden (D) of Delaware said the US must finish the job it started. "If we lose the peace in Iraq, that entire part of the world becomes chaos," Biden told CBS-TV.

Traders on the New York Stock Exchange improperly dealt in 2.2 billion shares over the past five years, according to a confidential report by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The report, obtained and published by The Wall Street Journal, emerged as the Senate Governmental Affairs subcommittee heard testimony on the issue from New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who has spearheaded investigations into improper trades and sharply criticized the SEC for not doing enough to curb them.

The Supreme Court agreed to rule on where patients can sue managed-care providers that refuse to pay for their medical treatments - either in state or federal court. Analysts said the decision would affect the size of damage awards, which tend to be higher in state courts.

The High Court refused to consider a contentious Ten Commandments case, rejecting two appeals by Alabama's suspended chief justice. Roy Moore is scheduled to go on trial Nov. 12 for defying a federal court order to remove a granite monument inscribed with the commandments from the rotunda of the state judicial building in Montgomery. It was found to violate the constitutional separation of church and state. The monument was placed in a storage room in August.

Sen. Bob Graham (D) of Florida reportedly has decided not to run for reelection in 2004, with a formal announcement expected as the Monitor went to press. Last month, Graham also dropped out of the race for the party's 2004 presidential nomination.

Kenyans Martin Lel and Margaret Okayo won the New York Marathon Sunday. It was the first victory for Lel and the second for Okayo. She set a women's course record, completing the 26.2-mile route in 2 hours, 22 minutes. Hip-hop mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs also ran, raising $2 million for charity.

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