Thousands of Iraqis and Iraqi-Americans in the US are being monitored under a previously undisclosed intelligence program, The New York Times reported, citing senior government officials. The electronic surveillance is aimed at identifying potential terrorist threats and possible informers against Saddam Hussein's regime in the event of a US invasion of Iraq, the Times said. The revelations follow recent criticism of US counterterrorism efforts by senior Democrats in the Senate. (Related story, page 1.)

A turnout of several thousand people was expected at a protest against a military school that demonstrators link to human-rights abuses in Latin America. Sunday's rally outside Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga., was the 13th organized by School of the Americas Watch since the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador. Some of the alleged perpetrators attended the former School of the Americas, based at Fort Benning. It was replaced last year by a new school, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Above, a protester receives security screening Saturday outside the Army facility.

Only about one-third of Democratic Party insiders think former Vice President Gore should run for president in 2004, according to a poll by the Los Angeles Times. Gore hasn't announced his intentions yet. The survey, of 312 of the Democratic National Committee's 450 members, found 35 percent in favor of another White House bid by Gore, and 48 percent against. Still, he drew the most support of 10 prospective candidates, followed by Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina.

Making good on a campaign promise, Maryland's governor-elect says he'll lift a state moratorium on capital punishment as soon as he takes office in January. Instead of the ban on executions, Robert Erlich (R) said he'd review each case individually. Gov. Parris Glendening (D) suspended executions in May and commissioned a study on possible racial bias in the handling of death-penalty cases.

A man detained at a Texas high school with an unloaded shotgun and a can of gasoline was arraigned Saturday on charges including aggravated assault and attempted arson. Tony Cipriano, a former student expelled from Scurry-Rosser High School, southeast of Dallas, allegedly asked to see the former principal before being subdued in the cafeteria.

For skywatchers, this year's annual Leonid meteor shower may be the best until 2099, NASA astronomers say. As many as 5,000 of the rice-sized meteors, dust shed by comet Tempel-Tuttle, should be visible each hour from the eastern US to Africa. Prime US viewing time starts tomorrow at about 5:30 a.m. EST.

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