Claudette heads to Texas...Wildfire burns...Bush defends Iraq decision - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Claudette heads to Texas...Wildfire burns...Bush defends Iraq decision

Galveston, Texas-AP -- The season's first hurricane has its eye set on Texas. Claudette became a minimal hurricane early today with 75 mile-an-hour winds. It's slowly heading toward shore and could get even more powerful before striking the central Texas coast tonight.

(Whiteriver, Arizona-AP) -- "We're praying a lot" is the way one official puts it as firefighters scramble to save hundreds of homes threatened by an Arizona wildfire. The blaze has prompted the evacuation of thousands of people from the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

(White House-AP) -- President Bush says when all is said and done, Americans and the rest of the world will realize that Saddam Hussein "had a weapons program." Bush is battling back against credibility questions raised over a disputed claim about Iraq in a pre-war speech.

(Baghdad, Iraq-AP) -- Iraq's new governing council is trying to overcome a credibility gap. It's being criticized by Iraqis as illegitimate since all 25 members were approved by the U-S. They've been assured they'll have real power, although the American administrator will have the final say.

(Savannah, Georgia-AP) -- They're having to put the champagne on ice at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Families hoping members of the Third Infantry Division would be coming home from Iraq this summer are now being told they won't be. They've been ordered to stay put because of "uncertainty" in Iraq.

(Vatican City-AP) -- Philadelphia Catholics are getting a new leader. Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (beh-vih-LAH'-kwah) is stepping down as archbishop, and the pope has named Archbishop Justin Rigali of St. Louis to succeed him. Bevilacqua has led the Philadelphia Archdiocese for the past 15 years, and turned 80 last month.

(Los Angeles-AP) -- Backers of California's embattled Governor Gray Davis plan a news conference today. They're considering legal action to try to stop a recall drive, but they acknowledge the governor's opponents probably have collected enough signatures to force a vote.

(Virginia Beach, Virginia-AP) -- Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson is asking God to change the makeup of the Supreme Court. He's begun what he calls a "prayer offensive" aimed at getting more conservatives on the court because of a ruling last month decriminalizing sodomy.

(White House-AP) -- The Bush administration is likely to write some history today with a budget forecast of unprecedented deficits. Aides say it will project more than 400 (b) billion dollars in red ink this year and again next year. And Democrats say that doesn't include the future cost of Iraq.

(Capitol Hill-AP) -- Fed chief Alan Greenspan gives Congress his take on the economy -- testifying before the House today and the Senate tomorrow. Wall Street is hoping he'll be sufficiently optimistic about growth to keep investors happy.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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