USA

The war in Iraq moved front and center in the presidential campaign as the week began. Democratic nominee John Kerry challenged President Bush to begin immediate steps to stop rising violence in Iraq. At New York University, Kerry was to lay out a four-part plan to bring peace to Iraq. In New Hampshire, Bush prepared to tell voters that the nation needs "consistency" in its leadership - not a change in the middle of the war, and not a series of contradictions, a campaign spokes-man said.

The Bush and Kerry teams were working on a final agreement for a series of presidential debates. An unnamed insider told the Associated Press a tentative deal had been reached for three debates over a two-week period, beginning Sept. 30, but the Bush campaign denied anything had been decided.

CBS News was preparing to back off a story about Bush's National Guard service record first reported by Dan Rather on "60 Minutes II," The Washington Post said Monday. It said the network is considering making a statement to acknowledge that it was misled in basing a story purporting to show that Bush received favorable treatment 30 years ago on documents of questionable authenticity.

Tropical Storm Jeanne appeared unlikely to hit the storm-battered southeastern US, weather forecasters said Monday. They also said it appeared that hurricane Karl would remain in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, posing a threat only to ships.

Bush has decided to lift two decades of sanctions against Muammar Qaddafi's government by Wednesday, a senior admininstration official told the Associated Press. Once Bush agrees to lift sanctions on air travel and removes a freeze on $1 billion in Libyan assets, the Tripoli government is expected to release more than $1 billion in compensation to families of victims of Pan Am flight 103, which it has acknowledged responsibility for destroying in 1988.

HBO walked away from the 56th annual Emmy Awards Sunday night as the big winner. Its mob drama, "The Sopranos," snapped the four-year run of NBC's "The West Wing" as best drama and its "Angels in America" AIDS-themed miniseries won a record 11 Emmys.

American golfers fell to a relentless team of Europeans in the Ryder Cup matches, 18-1/2 points to 9-1/2 points, at Oakland Hills in Bloomfield Township, Mich., Sunday. Europe's victory in three-day, match-play competition was its seventh in the past 10 shootouts.

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