On opening day of the Republican National Convention, speakers stressed the theme that President Bush is the right choice to continue the war on terrorism. The program at New York's Madison Square Garden included a tribute to the fallen heroes of 9/11 and an appearance by former New York major Rudy Giuliani, who said that what critics call Bush's "stubbornness" is instead "principled leadership." Although Giuliani predicted an end to global terrorism, Bush, speaking on NBC's "Today Show" earlier Monday, said, "I don't think you can win it, but I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world." Democrats pounced on the remark, which a White House spokesman later sought to clarify. Wednesday night's featured speakers are Vice President Cheney and retiring US Sen. Zell Miller, a conservative Democrat from Georgia.

A man whom federal officials in Chicago want to appear before a grand jury probing the financing of Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group, was freed Monday in Baltimore after friends posted a $1 million bond. Ismael Selim Elbarasse's brush with the law began Aug. 20 when officers in Maryland pulled him over after they noticed his wife filming the Chesapeake Bay Bridge with a video camera. Neither was charged with wrongdoing, but authorities held him after discovering a material witness warrant had been issued to Elbarasse in Illinois the same day. According to court documents, he allegedly shared a Virginia bank account used to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars for Hamas.

Institutional change is required for the Air Force to address a problem with sexual assaults that are more widespread than officials first thought, an in-house report released Monday said. During a four-month probe, investigators found that many women in the Air Force failed to report rapes out of fear that they would be disciplined.

Gov. Mark Warner (D) of Virginia was scheduled to tour Richmond Tuesday after a state of emergency was declared because of Tropical Storm Gaston, which dumped more than 11 inches of rain in the region in 10 hours, leaving many streets impassable.

The surprise decision of US Rep. Edward Schrock (R) of Virginia not to seek reelection to a third term forced the GOP to scramble to find a replacement candidate with only a few days left to get on the Nov. 2 ballot. Schrock bowed out, citing unspecified allegations, although. an online weblog suggested recently that he is a homosexual.

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