The House and Senate began debating resolutions that would give President Bush broad authority to act against Iraq, with approval expected later this week. In a speech from Cincinnati Monday night, Bush called Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein "a homicidal dictator who is addicted to weapons of mass destruction," posing a unique and immediate threat to the US and its allies. Despite that, war with Iraq is not "imminent or unavoidable," Bush said.

Some parents acted as volunteer guards near schools, while others kept children home a day after a middle-school student was shot in Bowie, Md. Doctors said the boy was expected to survive the sniper attack, the eighth in the past week in the Washington area. Six other victims died, and police say they have few clues to the identity of those responsible.

The US Supreme Court cleared the way for ex-Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) to appear on the Nov. 5 ballot in New Jersey's Senate race. The justices declined to hear an appeal by Republicans, who argued that Democrats missed the legal deadline to replace Sen. Robert Torricelli. Lagging in opinion polls and dogged by an ethics scandal, Torricelli dropped out last week from one of the US's most closely watched races.

WorldCom ex-finance executive Buford Yates pleaded guilty to securities fraud and conspiracy in New York Monday and agreed to cooperate with federal investigators. The second former official of the bankrupt telecommunications giant to reach a plea deal in two weeks, Yates told the court that he was ordered by supervisors to misreport expenses. He still faces civil charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Two American astrophysicists and one Japanese won the Nobel Prize in their field. Italian-born Riccardo Giacconi of Associated Universities Inc. in Washington was awarded half of the $1 million prize for his pioneering role in the discovery of cosmic X-rays. Raymond Davis Jr. of the University of Pennsylvania and Tokyo University's Masatoshi Koshiba share the other half for their work on solar neutrinos.

The shuttle Atlantis was in orbit, carrying six astronauts and a 14-ton girder toward the the International Space Station. The girder will be added to the station's framework during three spacewalks on the 11-day mission. Monday's liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Fla., was the first in four months. It was delayed from last week by Hurricane Lili.

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