USA

The UN gave Iraq "one last chance" to disarm and it clearly failed to do so, Secretary of State Powell told the Security Council in a televised briefing. He displayed photographs and played recordings that purportedly showed Iraqi officials discussing plans to hide nerve agents and other banned weapons and said that throughout the inspection process Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has continued efforts to obtain nuclear arms. The presentation is regarded as crucial to the timing and makeup of a possible US-led war on Iraq.

Recovery teams traveled to California and Arizona to collect suspected debris from the shuttle Columbia. If confirmed, it could yield important clues to what caused the spacecraft to break apart Saturday. Most of what's been found to date landed farther east, between Dallas and New Orleans. Authorities in Lufkin, Texas, meanwhile, said they are investigating alleged thefts of shuttle pieces, with the first indictment expected as the Monitor went to press.

In a unanimous ruling, the World Court temporarily barred the US from executing three Mexican nationals. No dates have been set for the executions. The UN court at The Hague, Netherlands, is investigating whether 51 Mexicans awaiting capital punishment in the US were notified of their right to legal help from their government. The court has no power to enforce its decisions, and the US has ignored similar orders in the past.

Former Enron trader Jeffrey Richter pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and lying to FBI agents Tuesday at US District Court in San Francisco. Richter is the second Enron trader to admit helping to inflate prices during California's electricity crisis in 2000. Both are cooperating with the federal investigation.

After almost 300 passengers and crew fell ill, 2,000 vacationers on the Sun Princess ended a 15-day Hawaiian cruise five days early. Princess Cruises offered free flights home from Honolulu, and the ship was returning to Los Angeles. The outbreak is similar to those that have discomfited more than 1,500 people on cruises in the Caribbean and in Alaska.

Two designs, either of which would create the world's tallest building, were chosen as finalists for a rebuilt World Trade Center Tuesday. One, by New York-based architect Rafael Vinoly (below) evokes the twin towers destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The other, by architect Daniel Libeskind, has a cluster of buildings with offices and gardens. The final choice will come at the end of the month.

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