USA

The US will tighten security measures for about 13.5 million travelers from countries whose citizens enter the country with passports, but not visas, the Homeland Security Department announced Tuesday. Starting in late September, travelers from more than two dozen European and Pacific Rim "visa-waiver" countries will be fingerprinted and photographed upon arrival at major US airports and seaports. The US already follows this procedure with travelers required to have visas. Beginning Oct. 26, all travelers - including children - from visa-waiver countries must have passports with machine-readable coding.

About 440,000 Florida residents remain without electricity after last week's storm, said government officials, who indicated that the number of deaths from hurricane Charley had reached 20 Wednesday morning. With hundreds of people scrambling for housing, Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist filed lawsuits against two hotels accused of price-gouging and said the state is investigating hundreds of such complaints, CNN reported.

While acknowledging a possible translation error in a key piece of evidence, federal prosecutors said the discrepancy does not alter their case against the Albany, N.Y., mosque leader arrested earlier this month. Yassin Muhiddin Aref was arrested with another suspect in a sting operation involving a fake plot to buy a shoulder-fired missile. In the indictment, Aref is referred to as "commander" in a notebook the FBI found at an Iraqi terrorist camp. The entry now is being translated as "brother."

Spc. Joseph Darby, the Army reservist who tipped off investigators about the abuse of prisoners in Iraq, is in protective custody because of death threats, his sister-in-law said Tuesday.

In the first lawsuit of its kind, an unidentified California Army National Guard soldier sued the military in San Francisco Tuesday for keeping 20,000 Army personnel beyond their time of service. The soldier's attorneys, who appeared in federal court, filed the suit after he "reupped" for one year, only to learn that his service is being extended as much as two years.

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry asked the MoveOn.org political action committee, which supports him, to pull a TV ad critical of President Bush's Air National Guard service. Addressing the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Cincinnati, Kerry also challenged the major military troop redeployment initiative Bush announced at the same convention Monday.

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