USA

The 500-page report of the special Sept. 11 commission will be released Thursday by the bipartisan panel that has spent the last 20 months investigating the 2001 terrorist attacks. The findings are expected to call for such steps as creation of a new Cabinet-level intelligence chief, combining the House and Senate intelligence committees, and removing term limits from committee members. Although some panelists have said they believe the hijackers could have been stopped, the report avoids calling the attacks preventable - a conclusion that the group felt too politically charged. House Speaker Dennis Hastert said any legislative action probably won't occur until the next president is inaugurated in January.

Seeking to avoid the FBI investigation into his mishandling of classifed intelligence documents from becoming a political football, Samuel (Sandy) Berger, National Security Adviser in the Clinton administration, withdrew Tuesday as an adviser to John Kerry's presidential campaign. Berger has acknow-ledged removing documents from the National Archives in preparing to testify before the 9/11 commission. His attorney says he returned all but a few draft reports that were "probably thrown away."

In a first-of-its-kind legal action, attorneys general from eight states and New York City teamed up to file a public nuisance lawsuit against five of the nation's largest power companies, hoping to force them to cut carbon dioxide emissions (estimated at 10 percent of the US total) and to help curb global warming. Officials from California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin joined the effort to pressure Cinergy Corp., American Electric Power Co., Southern Co., Xcel Energy, and the federal Tennesse Valley Authority.

Project Bioshield, a bill aimed at developing and stockpiling vaccines and other antidotes to biological and chemical weapons was set to be signed into law by President Bush in a Rose Garden ceremony. The mesure would allow distribution of certain treatments by the government before Food and Drug Administration approval.

Even as NASA celebrated the 35th anniversary Tuesday of man's first lunar landing, a House subcommittee voted to make deep reductions in the funds Bush wants to prepare for future manned missions to the moon and Mars. Below, visitors to the Air and Space Museum in Washington inspect the Apollo 11 Command Module that transported Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins on their historic 1969 mission.

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