Immigration-rights demonstrations that filled the streets in 10 states over the weekend resumed Monday during a National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice. Marchers took to the streets in dozens of cities, among them Atlanta, where thousands rallied to show unity with the national efforts and to protest pending legislation that would require adults to prove legal residency to receive state benefits. In Washington, a crowd of more than 100,000 was expected to descend on the Mall a day after 350,000 to 500,000 turned out in Dallas.

President Bush said Monday that force is not necessarily required to stop Iran from having a nuclear weapon, and he dismissed reports of plans for a military attack against Tehran as "wild speculation." Bush said his goal is to keep the Iranians from having the capability or the knowledge to have a nuclear weapon. "I know we're here in Washington ... [where] prevention means force," Bush said. "It doesn't mean force necessarily. In this case it means diplomacy."

Efforts to bus hundreds of hurricane-displaced New Orleans residents to polling stations in 10 Louisiana cities began Monday and will continue through the week. Some voters arrived from Texas and Georgia in what is partly a symbolic effort meant to buttress the post-Katrina electoral system. Absentee ballots also will be accepted from those not voting at the polls April 22 for mayor and city council seats.

Gasoline prices shot up 17 cents in the past two weeks, according to the latest Lundberg Survey of 7,000 filling stations. A gallon of self-serve regular rose to an average of $2.67, with the lowest price ($2.28) in Salt Lake City and the highest ($2.88) in Honolulu.

High-achieving high school

seniors are choosing colleges more for the quality of individual majors than on the basis of an institution's general academic reputation, according to a report released Monday by Lipman Hearne, a marketing firm that serves the nonprofit sector.

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