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President Clinton was withholding comment on the proposed Iraqi weapons-inspection deal pending a full reading of the details and consultations with other world leaders. He was late to a meeting with the nation's governors at the White House because he and Vice President Gore were being briefed on the tentative accord by National Security Adviser Samuel Berger.

A constitutional challenge to "Meghan's Law," the controversial New Jersey measure that requires law-enforcement authorities to publicize the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders, was rejected by the US Supreme Court. In a class-action suit, such offenders argued that the 1995 law - since adopted by 36 other states - illegally punishes them twice for the same crime because of the public reaction that notification produces.

The high court also refused to shield federal agents who participated in the 1992 siege at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, from a civil rights lawsuit. Kevin Harris, who was wounded in the incident, alleges a federal conspiracy violated his constitutional protection against unreasonable seizures. The court also let stand a six-month-old ban on T-shirt sales on the Mall and at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

Emergency crews in central Florida raced to rescue people trapped in the debris caused by powerful tornadoes that struck the region late Sunday night. At least 29 deaths were reported, with injuries numbering in the dozens and rural areas still to be heard from. Property damage estimates were not yet available, but hundreds of private residences and businesses were reported destroyed. Peak winds were put at 250 m.p.h.


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