USA

In an already contentious campaign, sparks flew again as presumed Democratic presidentialcandidate John Kerry said he had the backing of foreign leaders and the White House formally demanded that he identify them. If he refuses, press secretary Scott McClellan said Monday, "he is making it up." On national television Sunday, Secetary of State Powell also challenged Kerry to name names or "find something else to talk about." Kerry declined to divulge what he called details of private conversations, saying only that he has heard from foreign leaders interested in seeing a change in US leadership. The issue surfaced during his swing through the key battleground states of Pennsylvania and Ohio, where he continued to focus on healthcare and jobs. President Bush, bolstered by February's 0.7 percent rise in industrial growth, according to the Federal Reserve, was to make his 25th trip as president to Pennsylvania Monday to tout the nation's 68 percent home-ownership rate, the highest to date.

The White House was to give reporters a first glimpse of declassified components of Libya's dismantled nuclear-arms program Monday at the heavily-guarded Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Another shipment is expected to arrive at an undisclosed US port later this week, officials said.

More than 1,000 police, firefighters, and paramedics, plus an equal number of mock victims, participated in New York's largest emergency drill since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Emergency workers responded to a simulated find of radiological devices at Shea Stadium Sunday.

In a report on Internal Revenue Service practices to be made public this week, the agency has been found lax in ensuring that convicted tax-evaders pay back taxes and penalties, The Washington Post reported. The report of the Treasury Department's inspector general for Tax administration found that more than $2.5 million was owed in 172 cases studied. The IRS did not dispute the findings and said it was studying ways to collect at least a portion of what is due.

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis was the scene for Sunday's bicentennial celebration of the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the size of the US. A new Jefferson nickel was released for the occasion. Meanwhile, in Colorado the American Numismatic Association said it had identified a mint-condition 1794 silver dollar that may be the first coined.

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