USA

The federal government may have to spend as much as $9 billion of Social Security revenues to balance the budget, White House budget director Mitch Daniels reportedly said. He told Republican congressional leaders a "worst-case scenario" would require dipping into revenues used for Social Security payments, according to a House aide who attended the meeting. The Bush administration is considering across-the-board spending cuts as a way to protect the projected federal surplus.

The US and Japan formally renewed their strategic partnership and celebrated the 50th anniversary of a landmark treaty that brought peace to the Pacific after World War II. Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka also apologized to prisoners of war taken during the Japanese march across Asia, the first such gesture on US soil. Above, Secretary of State Powell and Tanaka chat before signing a declaration commemorating the anniversary at San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, where signatories from 49 nations officially put an end to World War II on Sept. 8, 1951.

The unemployment rate grew to 4.9 percent in August, the highest since September 1997, the Labor Department reported. The increase of 0.4 percent from July also was the biggest one-month rise since April 1995. Meanwhile, responding to the news, The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Friday down 235 points to 9,605.85, the lowest since April, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed at its lowest level in three years: 1,085.78. Analysts said the jobless report puts pressure on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates for the eighth time this year at its Oct. 2 meeting.

Narcotics kingpin Fabio Ochoa arrived in Miami after his extradition from Colombia to face charges that his cartel smuggled in 30 tons of cocaine per month. He is the highest-profile Colombian to face trial since Colombia revived extraditions to the US in 1997. Colombia remains the world's leading cocaine exporter and is an important source of the heroin sold in the US. Ochoa had fought extradition through legal appeals.

In one of the Miami's worst police scandals, 13 current and former officers were accused by federal prosecutors of planting guns at crime scenes to justify shootings by officers, lying to investigators, and trying to cover up shootings in which people died. All of those charged were veterans assigned to SWAT teams, narcotics units, or special crime-suppression teams in the late 1990s. If convicted, they face five to 25 years in prison.

Venus Williams defeated her younger sister, Serena, to win the US Open women's tennis singles title. At the end of the tournament's first final round sibling rivalry, the sisters walked to the net and embraced before Venus told her younger sister, "I love you." Venus's 6-2, 6-4 victory was her second in a row for the US Open title. (Story, page 2.)

A security guard suspended from his job last week in Sacramento, Calif., allegedly shot and killed four people believed to be former co-workers. Reports said Joseph Ferguson then fled in another former co-worker's car after the shootings at a city equipment yard and marina. Police were searching for him as the Monitor went to press. Ferguson had worked with Burns Security. No motive was immediately clear.

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