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President Bush was expected to announce his proposal for Palestinian statehood after the Monitor went to press, or, at the latest, today. The plan reportedly envisions a step-by-step process conditioned on reforms designed to develop a democratic Palestinian government. Bush condemned the latest suicide bombing in Jerusalem, which killed at least 20 people, "in the strongest possible terms" and he was expected to send Secretary of State Powell back to the region.

A federal judge rejected motions by accused American-born Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh to throw out charges pending against him or move his trial from northern Virginia. Judge T.S. Ellis III said a fair jury could be selected from among residents who live near the site of the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon. Meanwhile, Judge Leonie Brinkema appointed a new lawyer to assist Zacharias Moussaoui, the alleged 20th hijacker. Last week, she OKd Moussaoui's request to represent himself at trial.

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A dog owner's murder conviction in the mauling death of a San Francisco woman was thrown out by a California judge Monday. Marjorie Knoller was convicted in March of murder, involuntary manslaughter, and having a mischievous dog in the death of her neighbor, Diane Whipple. She still may be ordered to serve up to four years in prison for manslaughter, however. Her codefendant and husband, Robert Noel, was sentenced to the maximum of four years.

Three crew members died when a tanker plane battling a northern California wildfire crashed. The C-130 had just made a pass over the blaze near Yosemite National Park when it erupted in flames. The fire it was fighting has forced the evacuation of 400 people and scorched more than 10,000 acres. Larger fires continue to burn near Denver and southwestern Colorado.

Housing starts rose 11.6 percent in May, the largest monthly increase since July 1995, the Commerce Department reported. Separately, the Labor Department announced the Consumer Price Index was unchanged last month due to falling energy and food prices.

The Nickelodeon cable TV network was set to broadcast a special for children about same-sex parenting Tuesday despite protests from conservative activists. The half-hour report, featuring TV personality Rosie O'Donnell, an admitted lesbian, includes comments from the Rev. Jerry Falwell – who later joined activists in urging Nickelodeon not to air it. Critics contend the show promotes homosexual lifestyles. O'Donnell is an adoptive parent.


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