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US law enforcement agencies will have access to information about air passengers bound from Europe to the US, according to an agreement signed Monday that ends a legal limbo. The agreement, worked out between the European Union and the US Department of Homeland Security, requires the sharing of 34 items of data, including passenger addresses and telephone numbers, before landing rights are granted at US airports. The agreement, which runs until July 2007, is a stopgap while a long-term pact is worked out.

The Supreme Court on Monday let stand a California Supreme Court ruling that allows the city of Berkeley to treat the Berkeley Sea Scouts, a branch of the Boy Scouts that teaches sailing, differently from other nonprofits because the Scouts bar gays and atheists.

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In a phone call to Baghdad Monday, President Bush assured Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that he will not pull US forces from Iraq in two months in order to meet a rumored American deadline set for the country's fledgling government.

Hawaii officials reported no fatalities after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake and a series of aftershocks caused landslides and widespread blackouts on Sunday. Built-in seismic monitors automatically shut down power plants. The quake struck about 10 miles west of Hawaii Island (the Big Island).

Via an executive order, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) of California allied his state Monday with an environmental program of seven Northeastern states, allowing power plants to trade emissions credits. The order is viewed as a first step in creating a system that helps California's biggest manufacturers meet new, tougher environmental regulations.

Florida International University, the University of Miami, and their respective athletic conferences meted out one-game suspensions to 31 players involved in a third-quarter, bench-clearing brawl during their Saturday night game. Tempers boiled over when Miami's placekick holder was wrestled to the ground and punched.

The return of cruise-ship traffic to New Orleans took an important step Sunday when about 2,200 passengers boarded the Norwegian Sun, the first such ship to make a regularly scheduled stop in the Big Easy since hurricane Katrina. The Norwegian Sun is one of four ships returning to regular service this year and next.


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