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President Bush ordered the Coast Guard to turn back any refugees fleeing Haiti's growing civil conflict. A small freighter, carrying 21 Haitians and a crew of seven Filipinos, was intercepted Wednesday seven miles off Miami Beach. Those on board were held at sea while their status was sorted out. In Washington, members of the Congressional Black Caucus visited the White House to urge establishment of a "humantarian quarter" in Haiti from which relief supplies could be distributed. Bush has said he supports the creation of an international security presence to maintain order in Haiti if a political settlement is reached beween President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and rebels seeking his ouster.

Senators grilled military officials during a hearing about reported sexual assaults by female service personnel in the Persian Gulf region. Over the past two years, 112 cases of sexual misconduct have been reported in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. The Pentagon shared a report showing lessened rates of such behavior, but senators still expressed dissatisfaction with the level of misconduct and treatment provided victims of assault.

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Responding to rising concern about indecency on the airwaves, the nation's largest chain of radio stations announced the suspension of controversial talk-show host Howard Stern. Clear Channel Radio will drop him until given assurances that his show, determined to be "vulgar, offensive, and insulting," would meet the company's new standards. The action came as Congress prepared to reopen hearings on broadcast indeceny.

More than 100 cargo ships, delayed several days at the entry to the Gulf of Mexico during a rescue and salvage operation, began plying the Mississippi River near New Orleans after a vessel that sank in a collision was moved and a one-way channel cleared.

Relatives of the Columbine High School shooting victims - the 12 students and one teacher who died in a 1999 shooting spree - saw for the first time all the physical evidence in the case, including 35,000 pages of documents and a video of the two Littleton, Colo., perpetrators. The shooters ultimately took their own lives. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department released the materials, which also were made available to the public and news media, to clear the air following a five-year investigation.


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