President Bush arrived back in the US late Monday after a five-day swing through South and Central America. But before returning to the White House he made a stopover in Richmond, Va., to attend an election-eve gubernatorial rally for Republican Jerry Kilgore. During his absence, Bush ordered a mandatory ethics briefing for all staffers with security clearances as the administration deals with the fallout from a CIA identity-leak case. He will have little time to focus on his domestic agenda before leaving Monday for an eight-day trip to South Korea, Mongolia, China, and Japan.

After five months of trade talks, the US and China announced agreement on a deal that prevents clothing and textile shipments from flooding American markets. It covers 30 clothing categories, with the annual growth rate of certain imports, such as shirts and trousers, starting at 5.5 percent and rising incrementally to 10.3 percent by 2008. Faster rates apply to other items.

The Pentagon said Monday that five foreign terrorism suspects at the Guantánamo Bay military prison in Cuba have been charged with war crimes and will face military trials. The announcement came hours after the Supreme Court announced it would decide whether Bush has the power to create such tribunals. No trial dates were set for the accused, who are among nine of 500 detainees charged so far.

The Supreme Court, under the leadership of new Chief Justice John Roberts, unanimously upheld an appellate court decision that requires companies to pay factory workers for time spent putting on protective clothing and safety gear and walking to their work stations. The case was brought by meat-processing workers in Pasco, Wash.

Crew members of the Miami-based luxury cruise ship that foiled a pirate attack 100 miles off the coast of Somalia last weekend said they employed an ear-splitting Long Range Acoustic Device. The technology, developed for the US military after the deadly 2000 terrorist attack on the USS Cole as it was making a refueling stop in Yemen, has been deployed on commercial and naval vessels worldwide since 2003.

The Indianapolis Colts reached the midpoint of the National Football League schedule as the only 8-0 team after defeating the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, 40-21, in Foxboro, Mass., Monday night. The Colts, who won the Super Bowl in 1971 while representing Baltimore, play five of their remaining regular-season games at home.

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