USA

Thousands of people began lining up Monday night to be among the first to buy former President Clinton's memoir, "My Life." Across the US, bookstores were still open at midnight to serve customers wanting copies of the long-awaited autobiography, which already has been designated a best-seller despite some unfavorable reviews.

A federal judge approved a class-action sex-discrimination suit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in behalf of as many as 1.6 million female employees in the largest private civil rights case in American history. The suit alleges that the retail giant discriminates against women in pay, promotions, and training, and retaliates against those who complain. Wal-Mart has denied the charges and argues that the number of men in management positions reflects the higher number of male applicants.

The nation's seaports are ready to meet the July 1 deadline for international security standards, Homeland Security Secretary Ridge said Monday. The new guidelines, outlined by the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, allow officials to verify the security of ships before they enter port and to deny access to vessels that aren't in compliance. Among the ramifications: Vehicles boarding Washington State Ferries may be searched at random. Such searches were discontinued in 2002 following opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R) of Massachusetts, the only state that recognizes homosexual marriages, urged passage of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions. At the same time, former US Rep. Bob Barr (R) of Georgia told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that the Constitution ought not to be a vehicle for banning same-sex marriage.

A revised State Department report will reflect a sharp increase in victims of terrorism worldwide, officials said, correcting April findings that attacks had declined to 190 last year. Senior officials claimed that the initial report proved the success of President Bush's counterterrorism campaign but later acknowledged that the findings were inaccurate, attributing the errors partly to a new data system. Secretary of State Powell said there was no attempt to manipulate the figures to buttress Bush's argument.

Republican candidate Jack Ryan vowed to remain in the race for a US Senate seat in Illinois despite embarrassing accusations stemming from the release of his 2000 divorce papers. A Los Angeles judge ordered those files unsealed Monday after news organizations in Chicago sued for their release.

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