USA

With the Nov. 2 election little more than two weeks away, President Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry campaigned intensively over the weekend, seeking to shore up support in key states. Bush made appearances in Florida; Kerry swung through Wisconsin and Ohio. Bush pledged to oppose mandatory military service despite suggestions by his rival that the draft might yet be revived. "The best way to avoid a draft is to vote for me," the president told voters. Kerry cited the national shortage of flu vaccine as an example of what he called Bush's shortsightedness. In wooing conservative Ohio Democrats, Kerry attended a Roman Catholic mass and secured a hunting license. Bush played to Florida's large Jewish population by signing a bill requiring the State Department to document attacks on Jews worldwide.

Army reservists in Iraq who refused to deliver supplies for what they considered a "suicide mission" last week are being punished, their relatives told the New York Daily News. The Army has started demoting or reassigning the suspected ringleaders of the mini-mutiny, the newspaper said.

Military personnel at the Guantánamo Bay base in Cuba claim that detainees have been subjected to highly abusive treatment for extended periods, according to a report in The New York Times Sunday. Guards who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Times that resistant prisoners were stripped, shackled, and forced to endure strobe lights and loud music for periods as long as 14 hours. Pentagon officials, who describe Guantánamo as humane, refused comment on the details of the allegations, the report said.

A truck fleeing police at 90 m.p.h. and thought to be carrying illegal immigrants veered out of control near Sierra Vista, Ariz., causing an 11-car crash that killed six people and seriously injured 15 others Saturday. The vehicle had been reported stolen in Phoenix.

A hail and rain storm that created slippery driving conditions and poor visibility on I-95 near Baltimore triggered 17 accidents involving 92 vehicles Saturday. Fifty people were injured, some seriously, although no fatalities had been reported as the Monitor went to press.

Pierre Salinger, who died Saturday near his adopted home in Le Thor, France, was best known as the press secretary to two presidents, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

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