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The Supreme Court ruled that prisoners held as potential terrorists may, for now, take the first legal step in contesting US authority to hold them. The ruling, the most significant test so far of executive power in the post-9/11 era, did not give the White House everything it wanted, but it also did not refute the president's power to hold an American citizen without the rights normally accorded war prisoners. The justices said that Yaser Esam Hamdi, who has been in military custody since his arrest as a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan in 2001, has the right to access to counsel. He and American-born Jose Padilla, who is involved in a similar case, are being held at a Navy brig in South Carolina.

Consumer spending made a five-fold jump - from 0.2 percent to 1 percent - between April and May, the Commerce Department reported. Because such spending accounts for roughly two-thirds of all US economic activity, the leap is viewed as an encouraging sign of economic recovery.

The family of Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, who is a Muslim of Middle Eastern origin, acknowledged Sunday that he is the same hostage shown blindfolded in a videotape by terrorists in Iraq threatening to behead him.

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Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry confirmed Sunday he would not appear at this week's US Conference of Mayors in Boston, his hometown, because of a promised police union picket line at the event. "I don't cross picket lines; I never have," Kerry said explaining his decision. The matter is especially sensitive because Boston is the host of next month's Democratic National Convention.

The results of weekend drives to get independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader on the Nov. 2 ballots in Washington State and Oregon were unknown as the Monitor went to press, with state officials still working to verify whether he'd received the requisite 1,000 signatures of registered voters.

Independent truck drivers, concerned that shipping companies have not increased hauling rates to keep pace with rising insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs, were expected to strike Monday at ports around the country.

Michael Moore's politically charged "Fahrenheit 9/11" became the first so-called documentary to debut as Hollywood's top weekend film when it grossed $21.8 million in its first three days. The movie is highly critical of the Bush administration's response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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