Tens of thousands of women gathered for a reproductive rights rally Sunday at the National Mall in Washington. At a prerally breakfast, US Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) of New York said the Bush administration is "filled with people" who view the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling by the Supreme Court "the worst abomination of constitutional law." The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, which helped to sponsor the rally, said they hoped it would attract more than 500,000 demonstrators, a number larger than a similar abortion rally held in 1992. Anti-abortion groups protested outside at least three Washington abortion clinics Saturday, and planned to line part of Sunday's march route in a counterprotest.
Investigators were sifting through wreckage from a deadly explosion late Friday that killed four and injured two others, both critically, at an Illinois plastics manufacturing plant. Officials from the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board headed to the Formosa Plastics Plant, 25 miles east of Springfield, to help determine the cause of the blast, which rattled windows on buildings more than a mile away. Firefighters were still trying to put out blazes Sunday that demolished up to 75 percent of the plant. The entire community of some 1,000 was evacuated because of hazardous fumes created by burning chemicals.
Flash floods in northwestern Arkansas swept away a young brother and sister Saturday, after the pickup truck they were riding in stalled at a low-water bridge. The girl's remains were recovered, but the boy was still missing as the Monitor went to press. Water from heavy rains covered highways and rural roads throughout the state over the weekend. In Forth Smith, a teenager was safe late Saturday after being swept into a storm drain and carried two miles through an underground drainage tunnel, until firefighters helped him out. A spokesman for Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said he planned to sign a disaster declaration.
In a rare display of controversy, quarterback Eli Manning - the first player chosen in Saturday's National Football League draft - refused to play for the San Diego Chargers, who chose him. The University of Mississippi star drew boos from a crowd inside draft headquarters in New York, as he declined to put on the customary cap of the team. Later, Manning elicited more boos, even after being traded to the hometown Giants. "I'm a lot happier now than I was 10 minutes ago," he said. "We wanted a trade to happen." The draft also set a record when six players from the University of Miami were taken in the first round.