USA

President Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin met in Ottawa during Bush's first official trip to the US's northern neighbor. Security issues and trade relations, which have been rocky between the two countries, were on the agenda. Wednesday Bush visits Halifax, Nova Scotia, to thank residents for sheltering 33,000 American travelers stranded there when flights were grounded after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Prisoners at the US Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have been subjected to tactics that are "tantamount to torture," a Red Cross memorandum cited in Monday's New York Times said. The memorandum quotes from a Red Cross report that was based on a study of conditions at the prison and submitted in July to the US government and military officials, who rejected its findings. Red Cross investigators discovered what they described as "humiliating acts, solitary confinement, temperature extremes, [and] use of forced positions." More than 500 detainees apprehended during the 2001 military operations in Afghanistan are being held at Guantánamo.

By a 2-to-1 vote, a federal appeals court panel in Philadelphia ruled that the government may not withhold funds from colleges and universities that deny access to military recruiters. The case was brought by more than a dozen law schools that claimed to have a First Amendment right to prohibit on-campus recruiting by the military, which bans openly gay men and women.

Violent crimes in schools, including rape, robbery, and assault, fell 50 percent between 1992 and 2002, a report by the Education and Justice departments said Monday. The drop mirrors society's overall reduction in crime. Since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, some schools have installed metal detectors, hired security personnel, and implemented anti-bullying programs.

All seven soldiers aboard a Black Hawk helicopter based at Fort Hood, Texas, died Monday when it clipped TV tower support wires and crashed in foggy weather. The tower's warning lights had been knocked out in an earlier storm.

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