President Bush nominated White House counsel Harriet Miers to fill the Supreme Court seat of the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor. Leading Democrats immediately indicated that, as a relative unknown and longtime ally of the president, Miers would face intense scrutiny by the Senate in the confirmation process. Bush called on the Senate to conduct her hearings with "the same respect and civility" granted John Roberts Jr., who took his place as chief justice Monday for the opening of the Supreme Court's new term. If confirmed, Miers, a member of the search committee to find a replacement for O'Connor, would become the third woman to serve on the high court.

Investigators were searching for the cause of a tour boat accident on Lake George, N.Y., that resulted in 20 drowning deaths Sunday after it suddenly capsized and sank. The 40-foot craft was carrying a group of senior citizens when it flipped, tossing almost 50 tourists into the chilly Adirondack waters. The lake was calm and weather conditions were considered ideal at the time, and life jackets were on board. But the passengers reportedly were not able to put them on before the boat sank.

In a case closely watched by the international art world, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles agreed to return three ancient works to Italy without admitting to any wrongdoing in obtaining them. Italian prosecutors have charged Getty curator Marion True with illegally acquiring stolen treasures, charges she has denied. Italy's culture minister said his government is not withdrawing its accusations on the basis of the return of three of 42 disputed pieces.

The National Football League played its first regular-season game outside the US Sunday night, when the Arizona Cardinals met the San Francisco 49ers before 103,467 fans in Mexico City's Azteca Stadium. The crowd was the largest to see a regular-season contest, and pleased NFL officials said they hope such games will become annual affairs. The Cardinals won, 31-14.

Pulitzer prize-winning playwright August Wilson, who died Sunday in Seattle, was known for his series of dramas chronicling the life of 20th-century African-Americans. All but one of the plays was set in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, where Wilson grew up as the son of a white German immigrant and a black mother.

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