USA

President Bush has withdrawn his threat to cast his first veto over efforts to outlaw torture of military prisoners, the Los Angeles Times reported. Instead, it said, Bush is seeking a compromise with Congress. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley met three times in the past month with Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona, the sponsor of an amendment that would set new restrictions against inhumane treatment of terrorists and other detainees. It passed the Senate 90-9.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) released 100,000 pages of memos, handwritten notes, e-mails, phone logs, and other documents from the days before and after hurricane Katrina that were requested by congressional investigators. Communications between her office and the White House show delays, claims that requests for federal help were not received, and concerns on both sides about the effect of the disaster on public relations, reports said.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (D) visited Atlanta as part of a multicity campaign to lure his constituents back home and put pressure on federal policymakers to rebuild the city. "Red beans and rice just ain't the same without you," Nagin told 2,200 evacuees who gathered at Morehouse College. As many as 80,000 New Orleans families have moved to Georgia. Nagin also has held town hall-type meetings in Memphis, Tenn., and Houston.

Former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R) of Texas told a group of soldiers Saturday in Houston that a US military withdrawal now from Iraq would be "a death warrant for Americans in future terrorist attacks." DeLay's admonition came amid the ongoing controversy caused by Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha's call last month to begin drawing down US troops.

Focus on the Family, a leading Christian group, said it is withdrawing its funds from Wells Fargo Bank because of the latter's support of homosexual causes. It provided a $50,000 grant to support the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Wells Fargo is the nation's fifth-largest bank.

A "pay-to-play" system at Sony BMG Music Entertainment was "tolerated and facilitated" by senior executives, according to documents released by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) and reported in the Los Angeles Times. Sony had settled with Spitzer for $10 million in July for bribing radio programmers.

The insurance industry touted ten 2006 passenger cars for offering the best protection to passengers in front, side, and rear crashes. Winners of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's gold award included the Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego with optional side air bags, the Saab 9-3, the Subaru Legacy, and the four-door Honda Civic.

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