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After giving their spacecraft a final inspection and using a laptop computer to practice landing, Discovery astronauts said they were confident of a safe return to Earth Monday on the first shuttle flight since the 2003 Columbia disaster. After 13 days in orbit, Discovery was scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center on Florida's east coast at 4:47 a.m.

Survivors of the deadly blasts that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki 60 years ago joined hundreds of activists at a Saturday rally at the site of the Los Alamos, N.M., labs, where the world's first atomic bombs were built. At the Nevada Test Site, about 200 peace activists gathered for a nonviolent demonstration outside the gates. Dozens were given citations and released after crossing police lines.

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Blowing conch shells and chanting Hawaiian prayers, some 15,000 people marched through downtown Honolulu Saturday to protest a federal court ruling striking down Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiians-only admissions policy as unlawful. Last week an appellate court in San Francisco ruled that the private school's policy of admitting only native Hawaiians amounted to "unlawful race discrimination" even though the school receives no federal funding. The school has defended the exclusive policy as a remedy to socioeconomic and educational disadvantages Hawaiians' have suffered since the 1893 US-backed overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

White House officials listened to the concerns of Cindy Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq, and several other mothers backed by about 70 antiwar protesters Saturday near President Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch. The protest coincided with the release of a Newsweek poll that said 61 percent of Americans disapproved of the way Bush was handling the war in Iraq, where two dozen Americans were killed last week.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association issued guidelines that would ban native American-themed mascots from 18 universities and colleges from appearing at any of its 88 championship tournaments for sports ranging from basketball to bowling. The list of schools includes Florida State and University of Illinois.


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