USA

President Bush and Mexican leader Vicente Fox exuded an air of cooperation on immigration, trade, Haiti, and counterterrorism measures at a summit at Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch. The meeting, held a year and a half after originally scheduled, reflected a thaw in relations between the two, which began to sour in 2001. Fox left with assurances - but no ironclad agreements - that Mexicans who regularly travel to the US won't need to be fingerprinted and photographed each time and that efforts to arrange temporary visas for illegal immigrants already working in the US will continue.

More than a dozen familes who lost loved ones during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks came to the defense of Bush's TV campaign ads that use brief images of the destroyed World Trade Center. In an "Open Letter to America" Saturday, they disputed claims by supporters of Democratic presidential rival John Kerry that the ads dishonor the memories of relatives whom they, too, lost in the attacks. Kerry also said he thought the ads are inappropriate, but Bush said he planned to continue to discuss "the effects of 9/11 on our country and my presidency."

A team of US lawyers, investigators, and prosecutors began heading to Iraq to assemble war-crimes evidence against former dictator Saddam Hussein, captured by US-led forces in December. According to a Justice Department source, the group will report to Paul Bremer, the administrator of the provisional coalition authority. Britain, Spain, and Australia will also participate in building the case against Hussein and his regime, which will be turned over to Iraqi prosecutors for his expected trial later this year.

In early fallout from Martha Stewart's conviction, her TV show will be pulled from CBS's New York affiliate beginning Monday, reports said. Stewart was found guilty Friday of four counts of conspiracy, making false statements, and obstruction of justice in a stock-trading coverup with her broker, Peter Bacanovic. He also faces possible jail time for his role in helping her jettison shares of fast-dropping ImClone Systems stock. Stewart's lawyer vowed to appeal the verdicts. Sentencing is scheduled June 17. Legal analysts predicted she may get a year in prison.

Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, a radio fixture from New York since 1939, will continue for another year as the result of a matching $3.5 million grant by the Stabile Foundation to plug the gap left when ChevronTexaco dropped its sponsorship. Beyond that, more funding must be found, reports said.

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