An Iraqi driver was killed in the second deadly checkpoint incident in two days, as the US military investigated a shooting Monday that killed at least seven women and children. Marines fired on the van after its driver ignored warning shots, US officials said. Tensions had increased since a terrorist bomber killed four US soldiers at a checkpoint near Najaf Saturday. President Bush is scheduled to visit marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., tomorrow to praise the work US military personnel in Iraq, including efforts to avoid civilian casualties. Twelve of the 44 US service personnel killed in the conflict had been based at Camp Lejeune.
Bills to authorize $75 billion in emergency funding for the war were taken up by the House and Senate appropriations committees, with alterations expected to Bush's proposed package. Majority Republicans want to add $3 billion to help airlines cope with a steep drop in travel, while Democrats are pushing for more money for homeland security.
The US-led coalition is liberating Iraq from a "ruthless tyranny that has shown utter contempt for human life," Secretary of State Powell said Monday, releasing his department's annual human rights report. China expressed "strong dissatisfaction" at findings that it engaged in extrajudicial killings, torture, and prisoner abuse. The report also criticized Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Eritrea, Colombia, and Cuba, among others.
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (D) drew howls of protest for sending construction crews out at midnight Sunday to dig up a small airport beside Lake Michigan. At a news conference, Daley defended the order, saying planes headed toward Meigs Field "with a sudden turn ... could cause a terrible tragedy downtown." Critics accused the mayor of using terrorism as an excuse to further a years-long effort to turn the airfield into a park.
A New York businessman who helped to broker lucrative oil deals for Kazakhstan was free a $10 million bond after being charged with bribing two government officials in the central Asian state. A federal complaint unsealed Monday accuses James Giffen of transferring more than $20 million to Swiss bank accounts to win business for his bank, Mercator Corp.
CLARIFICATION: An item in this space March 10 included a photograph of an antiwar rally in Washington. Author Alice Walker, who participated in the rally, was not in the picture.