USA

The Democratic National Convention wraps up Thursday with Thursday evening's speech by John Kerry, who is scheduled to accept his party's nomination. Running mate John Edwards was to address the convention Wednesday, highlighting a program featuring the tradtional state-by-state roll-call vote. After campaigning in Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania this week, Sen. Kerry arrives back in his home state following three days of praiseful convention speeches, including Tuesday night's by Teresa Heinz Kerry, who said her husband would "give us back our faith in America." In California, meanwhile, Vice President Cheney said both Kerry and Edwards voted yes for the war in Iraq, but against subsequent funding, a shift the Republicans focus on in a newly released campaign video.

A federal grand jury in Dallas returned a 42-count indictment Tuesday against the largest US Muslim charity. The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development was accused of supporting terrorists by funneling millions of dollars to Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist organization. The group, which raised more than $57 million between 1992 and 2001, says it supports orphans and other needy people in Muslim countries, but authorities claim the charity provides "minimal support" as a cover for its secret activities.

The parents of American Ahmed Abu Ali, a suspected terrorist jailed without charges in Saudi Arabia 13 months ago, were slated to file a lawsuit Wednesday against the US government in a Washington federal court. The government ordered the arrest of Abu Ali as part of an antiterrorism investigation and has refused to say when he will be charged or released, the parents allege. The suit, lawyers believe, would be the first on behalf of a US citizen detained in a third country at the US government's request. The Justice Department has previously refused to comment on the case, which the parents want placed in the US legal system, even if it means Abu Ali is implicated in a Virginia-based terrorism training ring.

Airline pilots voiced strong opposition to stepped-up calls for equipping cockpits with crash-resistant image recorders during hearings Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board. The board says recorders would produce faster, more accurate conclusions about the causes of aviation accidents. Pilots are concerned that monitoring might be overly intrusive and be misused when pilots are facing criminal or disciplinary proceedings.

Despite finding no evidence that genetically engineered foods have harmed humans, efforts to safeguard consumers against possible hazards should be stepped up, a National Research Council panel urged in a report released Tuesday.

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