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The AFL-CIO's annual convention begins in Chicago Monday, but without representation from four major unions that had decided to boycott the gathering, the Associated Press reported. The unions, which constitute about one-third of the AFL-CIO's 13 million members, and the organization's leadership could not agree on how best to reverse its decades-long decline. The disgruntled unions include the Teamsters, as well as unions representing service, textile, hotel, and food workers.

Privileged memos and documents written by Supreme Court nominee John Roberts when he served under two Republican presidents will not be released for the Senate's consideration, Fred Thompson, a Bush administration spokes-man, said. Thompson, the former senator who is guiding Roberts through the confirmation process, said documents subject to attorney-client privilege are off-limits. In an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," however, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he anticipates some "accommodation" in this regard.

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For the second time in two weeks, NASA began a countdown for the shuttle Discovery, which is now scheduled to lift off Tuesday from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The shuttle went back on the clock Saturday even though officials acknowl-edged being unable to determine the exact cause of a fuel-gauge malfunction that grounded the mission.

While touring central Africa to look at HIV/AIDS projects, former President Clinton apologized for what he called his "personal failure" to prevent the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which 800,000 people died. He made the remark at a memorial museum partially funded by his Clinton Foundation.

As expected, National Hockey League owners and players approved a six-year labor deal late last week, officially ending the lockout that canceled last season. The players agreed to a salary cap of 54 percent of the league's revenues.

A 70,000-acre wildfire in central Arizona, which forced the evacuation of 350 homes, was expected to be under control Monday after rain helped crews battle the blaze, officials said. On Saturday in Golden, Colo., a fire probably caused by fireworks was contained despite dry, hot conditions, authorities reported.


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