With 70,000 workers out on strike, three major California supermarket chains began hiring replacements to keep stores open Sunday. Wages and health benefits were the main sticking point in negotiations that broke off late Saturday between store owners and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and the two sides said there were no immediate plans to resume talks. The walkouts affect 850 Kroger Co.'s Ralphs, Safeway Inc.'s Vons, and Albertsons grocery stores.

Two Democratic presidential hopefuls were attempting to reinvigorate their campaigns with fresh criticism of President Bush's economic and foreign policies. On a visit to Manchester, N.H., US Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut was to propose a tax-reform plan that would raise rates for wealthy Americans while taking the administration to task for leading the nation "far off track" and lacking the "honor and integrity" to admit mistakes, aides said. Meanwhile, US Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio formally joined the race for the party's 2004 nomination, announcing his bid at City Hall in Cleveland. Both candidates have lagged in fund-raising and opinion polls.

After a six-month battle, the Texas Senate approved a congressional redistricting bill by a vote of 17-14 Sunday night, sending it to Gov. Rick Perry (R) for his signature. The measure creates districts designed to favor GOP candidates, and would take effect in time for next year's elections. Democratic lawmakers twice fled the state in protest, and have vowed to challenge the legislation in court.

In a possible step toward lifting the 11-year ban on most silicone breast implants, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel Tuesday begins a review of clinical trials by Inamed Corp. The Santa Barbara, Calif., company wants to sell the devices. Lawsuits by thousands of women who blamed implant leaks for health problems prompted the FDA restrictions and forced former maker Dow Corning into bankruptcy.

At least 45 people were hospitalized following a commuter train derailment Sunday in Chicago, with one person reported in serious condition. Two engines and five coach cars carrying 350 passengers were involved in the accident, which occurred on the city's South Side. Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board were joining the investigation into the cause of the derailment.

Willie Shoemaker, who passed on Sunday in a Los Angeles suburb, was a horse racing legend, a Hall of Fame jockey, and was considered one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century. Over a career that spanned more than 40 years, Shoemaker won the sport's premier event, the Kentucky Derby, four times. He set a record in 1986, at 54, as the oldest rider to finish first at the derby's renowned track, Churchill Downs.

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