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Gary Younge
One in four 9/11 relatives says Republicans exploiting tragedy
The party's convention opened yesterday in New York with an address by the relatives of three of the victims, who paid tribute to those who died, and a speech by the former mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, whose national prominence soared as a result of his leadership in the city following the terrorist attacks in 2001.
New York gets ready for wave of rallies
"It's so important to shake up people's world like that," said Kim, one of about 50 mostly young protesters who spent last week marching the 258 miles to the Republican convention in New York from Boston, the site of last month's Democratic convention.
Huge protest against Bush on eve of party meeting
But as the demonstrators marched, Republican delegates arrived in town hoping to open a significant lead over the Democratic challenger, John Kerry, for the first time this year. While Mr Bush continued to campaign through the swing states at the weekend ahead of the convention, the race remained a virtual dead heat. A Time magazine poll gave Mr Bush a two percentage point lead, but that was less than the margin of error.
Fortress New York takes post-9/11 play to its heart
Number one on the bestseller list is Unfit for Command, a book by Swift Boat veterans denouncing the Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's war record. Number one on the New York Times paperback non-fiction list is the 9/11 commission report on the terrorist attacks on New York city.
Paranoia stalks Bush rally
Delegates to the Republican convention, which begins in Madison Square Garden on Monday, will face opponents releasing swarms of mice, posing as volunteers to send old ladies in the wrong direction and hiring sex workers with Aids to seduce them, according to a columnist on the New Hampshire Sunday News, Bernadette Malone.
Black rivals line up for historic Senate fight in Lincoln's state
In order to have their grievance tabled and discussed, they needed one senator to support them. The motion fell because not one of the 100 senators, two for each state in the union, was prepared to back them. Not one senator was black.
Bush u-turn on climate change wins few friends
In a dramatic reversal of its previous position, the White House this week conceded that emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases were the only likely explanation for global warming.

Power packed: Bob Dylan
Blowin' the gaff: Dylan to tell all
Dylan, who at the age of 63 is planning to go on tour with Willie Nelson this summer, is set to focus on significant and influential periods of his life in the first of three books called simply Chronicles: Volume One, according to his publisher.
The protesters are coming...
The president was finding it difficult to throw the ball in his bulletproof vest. "Are you going to throw from the rubber or the base of the mound?" asked Yankee star Derek Jeter. The rubber, the highest point on the mound, is the point from which a pitcher would usually throw. Bush had been planning to throw from the base, which is about six to 10 feet closer to the home plate. "If you throw from the base of the mound they are going to boo you. You really need to take the rubber," said Jeter.
Wounded by friendly fire
Vietnam war veteran and Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry has been ambushed and, for the moment, remains caught in enemy fire. Having made his five-month stint of decorated service in Vietnam the heart of his platform, it is now emerging as his achilles heel.
Texas politician seeks custody to 'save' African child
State representative Talmadge Heflin and his wife Jan ice made their case to a family court in Houston this week, accusing Mariam Katamba and her partner, Fidel Odimara, of not caring for their son or providing him with adequate medical care.
Oprah's jury verdict: it's another world
For this was Oprah's trial. And as she emerged from the court room to announce that she had invited all of her fellow jurors on to her show next week, she intended to keep it that way.
The women who get Kerry's vote: Teresa and Theron
"Look for what gets your heart," he said. "Someone who excites you, turns you on. It's a woman who loves being a woman. Who wears her womanhood. Who knows how to flirt and have fun. Smart. Confident. And obviously sexy and saucy and challenging."
Oprah's $17 a day role in court drama
The queen of the TV confessional strode into the courthouse in Chicago on Monday carrying a copy of Anna Karenina and bringing the kind of excitement not seen in this courthouse since singer R Kelly first appeared there two years ago in a child pornography case.
FBI 'harassing' protesters
In a nationwide move that civil rights advocates called "chilling", the FBI has drawn up a list of people it intends to question because they may have information about possible violence.
US to pull back troops from Asia and Europe
The countries most likely to be affected will be Germany, where the Pentagon is considering removing two army divisions and replacing them with smaller, more mobile units, and South Korea, where the US plans to withdraw a third of its 37,000 troops.
US relaxes policy on visa violations
Stories of the harsh treatment meted out to British visitors who stayed beyond the 90 days allowed without a visa had given a "black eye" to America's reputation, said Robert Bonner, who heads the department's customs and border protection bureau.
Lesbians accuse Spike Lee film of exploitation
Prominent lesbians have dismissed Lee's film, She Hate Me, saying its portrayal of lesbian life is both "extremely harmful and lacking in complexity".
American prisoners charged for room and board
In Macomb county in Michigan, "pay to stay" fees range from $8 (£4.34) to $56 a day, according to what an inmate can afford.
Kerry hit by 'race card' ads
The adverts also ridicule Mr Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, for boasting of her African roots. She was born and raised in Mozambique under colonial Portuguese rule.
Married governor quits after admitting affair with man
"My truth is that I am a gay American," said James McGreevey, a married father of two. "Shamefully I engaged in adult consensual affairs with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony. It was wrong, it was foolish, it was inexcusable."
Washington Post apologises for underplaying WMD scepticism
In a 3,000-word front-page article the newspaper said it "did not pay enough attention to voices raising questions about the war".
California's supreme court declares gay marriages void
The ruling was the latest setback to efforts by the gay community to challenge laws that restrict the institution of marriage to heterosexual couples.

Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun. Photograph: AP
The soldier's story
The following Sunday, June 27, the 24-year-old turned up on the Arab satellite network al-Jazeera blindfolded with a sword at his head. His captors said they would behead him unless all Iraqi prisoners were released from US controlled prisons. On July 29 the military reclassified him as "captured".
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