USA

President Bush, in a warning to Iran's leaders, said the US considers that "all options are on the table" if they continue to refuse international demands to halt their nuclear program. Asked by an Israeli TV interviewer Saturday if he meant to include the use of force, Bush replied: "[That] is the last option for any president. And, you know, we've used force in the recent past to secure our country." But he said he still hoped for a diplomatic solution to the growing confrontation between Western nations and Iran over suspicions that the latter is assembling a nuclear weapons program.

New questions arose about the work of the Sept. 11 commission as critics conceded that a defense intelligence-gathering technique was abandoned too quickly even though it had linked Al Qaeda hijacker Mohamad Atta and three colleagues to a terrorist cell in Brooklyn, N.Y., more than a year before they struck. The method, known as data-mining drew protests from privacy advocates. The Sept. 11 commission did not include a mention of the Atta-Brooklyn cell linkage in its final report. The commission first denied being aware of intelligence specifically identifying Atta, but later last week conceded that it had received such reports. However, its co-chairmen said Friday that the panel wasn't given documentation placing Atta in the US so far ahead of the 2001 attacks.

The nation's commuters will board trains, buses, and ferries Monday under a relaxed terrorism warning level. The Homeland Security Department lowered the threat level following Friday afternoon's rush hour from "elevated" to "high," saying it had no specific, credible information indicating an imminent attack on transit systems.

Major changes in the way airline passengers are screened may be coming, reports said - among them an end to the ban on carrying small knives and scissors aboard planes. A Transportation Security Administration spokesman said Saturday that recommendations drafted earlier this month also propose that passengers be required to remove their footwear only if they set off metal detectors, are flagged by a computerized screening system, or appear "reasonably suspicious."

Residents of Wright, Wyo., were sifting through the remains of their coal-mining town after a tornado killed two people, injured a dozen others, and destroyed about 50 homes Friday afternoon. Three people who were listed as missing later were found safe. Authorities said the twister arrived with no more than five minutes' warning, giving townspeople little time to seek shelter.

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