USA

Hurricane Katrina surged ashore just east of New Orleans as a Category 4 storm. Its 125 m.p.h. winds ripped slate tiles off old roofs in the French Quarter and sheared metal strips off the top of the Louis-iana Superdome, where 26,000 of the area's poor, homeless, and elderly spent Sunday night. The stadium lost power early Monday and had to switch to backup generators. Officials estimated 1 million people left the city and its environs before the storm hit. By 11 a.m. EDT the winds dropped to Category 3 strength, 125 m.p.h., as Katrina pushed inland, threatening to dump as much as 15 inches of rain in the Tennessee Valley in the coming days. Despite signs that New Orleans would be spared the storm's full fury, authorities remained seriously concerned about possible extensive flooding that could require weeks to pump out the vulnerable, below-sea-level city.

In related developments:

• More than 4,000 National Guardsmen in Memphis, Tenn., were mobilizing to assist in policing New Orleans streets. • The Waterford nuclear plant 20 miles west of New Orleans was shut down as a precautionary measure.

• The Coast Guard closed ports and waterways, and the Federal Aviation Administration did the same with air-traffic control facilities in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Seeking to talk up the prescription drug benefit plan for seniors that kicks in Jan. 1, President Bush was to leave his Texas ranch to make appearances in El Mirage, Ariz., and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. His goal: to blunt criticism of the plan by explaining its value to Medicare recipients, who will have the choice of two private drug-coverage plans. Tuesday, Bush commemorates the end of World War II at the North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego before returning to the White House Friday.

A study by federal researchers in suburban Washington, D.C., confirms what many in law-enforcement have long assumed: that teenagers who drive with peers as their passengers take more risks and drive more dangerously than those who don't. About 1 in 4 teens with a male passenger exceeded the speed limit by 15 m.p.h. or more, the study found.

A pilot program that uses new card-reading technology to screen ferry passengers for explosives was introduced in the San Francisco Bay Area. The program is a partnership of the Golden Gate Ferry, Coast Guard, and Transportation Security Administration.

The Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., produced two firsts Sunday: the first Hawaiian team (Ewa Beach of Oahu) to win the championship and the first game-winning home run in the title game. Ewa Beach beat defending champion Willemstad, Curacao, 7-6, in a come from behind.

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