USA

The Department of Homeland Security asked the Justice Department to review what legal steps might be taken to delay the Nov. 2 presidential election in case of a terrorist attack, Newsweek magazine reported Monday. The request reportedly grew out of a letter from DeForest Soaries, the chairman of the new US Election Assistance Commission, in which he requested that Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge ask Congress for the power to put off the election if need be.

Lea Fastow, whose husband, Andrew, will serve a 10-year prison sentence for his role in the Enron scandal, reported to a federal detention center in Houston to begin her own one-year term. She admitted in May that she'd helped her huband hide financial schemes that led to the company's collapse. Andrew Fastow will enter prison once prosecutors no longer need his cooperation in other Enron cases.

Delivering the keynote address at the NAACP convention in Philadelphia, chairman Julian Bond urged members to get out the black vote to oust President Bush. Bush declined to speak to the group, which has been harshly critical of him. Democratic challenger John Kerry will address the convention Thursday. Meanwhile, a national poll commisioned by the nonpartisan Black America's Political Action Committee revealed that only 32 percent of registered African-American voters definitely believe Kerry is the best candidate to succeed Bush.

A proposal to loosen rules against logging in national forests was to be unveiled by the Bush administration as the Monitor went to press. The plan calls for easing a roadbuilding ban on millions of acres declared off-limits by the Clinton White House. State governors would have to petition the federal government to block construction in remote areas under the new plan.

Wildfires that have charred 29,000 acres in Arizona could be winding down, firefighters said Sunday. About $8 million has been spent fighting blazes in southeastern Arizona, where crews have been able to protect mountaintop communities and a world-renowned observatory.

A Boca Raton, Fla., building that was the first contaminated in a series of still-unsolved anthrax mailings in 2001 underwent intensive fumigation Sunday. It housed a tabloid news- paper until the death of an employee, one of five people killed in various anthrax cases. A company that has decontaminated other anthrax-affected sites will be the new tenant.

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