USA

Sept. 11 commission members told Congress that because terrorists are most vulnerable when moving around, federal standards should be put in place for obtaining drivers' licenses. This, commissioners said Monday, would make it harder for terrorists to fake their identities and board planes or trains. Although civil-liberties advocates raised concerns about national ID cards, Senate Commerce Committee chairman John McCain (R) of Arizona said he'd file bills to implement the commission's recommendations. Above, commission vice chairmen Thomas Kean (l) and Lee Hamilton appear before the Senate with Asa Hutchinson, the under secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

The consumer price index, the most widely used gauge of inflation, dropped in July for the first time in eight months, the Labor Department said. The 0.1 percent dip and a comparable rise in the so-called core CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, are tamer than expected readings. Wall Street observers believe they support the Federal Reserve's go-slow approach to raising interest rates.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) of Illinois was to announce the creation of an online network of pharmacies through which state residents can buy certain prescription drugs from Canada, Ireland, and Britain. While the state won't be importing the drugs, which would be illegal, the proposal is the latest of the governor's aggressive efforts to make affordable drugs available to the public.

A global-warming study, conducted by university scientists and consultants and focused on California, painted a substantially more pessimistic picture of environmental impacts than previous projections. In a report released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists, the group said that if the release of heat-trapping gases isn't adequately addressed, periods of extreme heat could quadruple in Los Angeles by the end of the century and alpine forests could shrink by up to 75 percent.

In a poll of New Jersey voters released Monday, almost half said government corruption was more a factor in Gov. James McGreevey's resignation than a sexual revelation. The Democratic governor announced last week that he'd step down Nov. 15, after disclosing he had engaged in an extramarital affair with another man. By staying in office beyond Sept. 3, despite calls for his immediate resignation, McGreevey staves off the need for a special election for the remainder of his term, which expires in January 2006.

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