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Nation In Brief

Cheney pays tribute to Iraq war veterans

ARLINGTON, Va. — Vice President Dick Cheney paid tribute Sunday to veterans of the Iraq war, honoring them for keeping the United States democratic and free and hoping “they will return in victory.”

In a 10-minute Veterans Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery, Cheney said soldiers from World War I to “the current fight against terrorism” have served their country valiantly and “above all they kept us free at the land we call home.”

Blast on Navy ship injures 6 workers

SAN DIEGO — An explosion in the hull of a Navy cruiser during routine maintenance injured six workers Saturday, one of them critically, authorities said.

Subcontractors from the National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. were working in the fuel tank of the USS Lake Champlain as it sat in dry dock when the explosion occurred just after noon, said San Diego Fire Department spokesman Maurice Luque.

At least 12 arrested for protesting cargo

OLYMPIA, Wash. — At least a dozen people were arrested as demonstrators rallied to protest military cargo shipments arriving from Iraq at the port in the state capital.

The arrests Saturday came a day after protesters were able to stop two trucks from removing military equipment that had been unloaded from a ship coming from Iraq. The equipment was bound for Fort Lewis, an Army base about 15 miles northeast of Olympia.

Officials want aerial view of Bay damage

OAKLAND, Calif. — Federal officials want a bird’s-eye view of San Francisco Bay to observe environmental damage caused by the area’s worst oil spill in nearly two decades.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen planned to take an aerial tour of the damage Sunday.

A preliminary Coast Guard investigation found that “human error,” not mechanical failure, caused the cargo ship to sideswipe a support on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Stagehands reaffirm strike commitment

NEW YORK — It was a second day of dark Broadway theaters and disappointed audiences as striking stagehands reaffirmed their commitment Sunday to remain off the job until producers started acting “honorably” at the negotiating table.

James J. Claffey Jr., president of Local One, said the League of American Theatres and Producers needs to make a “constructive” adjustment to its counter offers.

Obama: Tax more for Social Security

WASHINGTON — Democrat Barack Obama said Sunday that if elected he will push to increase the amount of income that is taxed to provide monthly Social Security benefits.

Obama and other Democratic presidential candidates previously have signaled support for this idea.

But during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Obama said subjecting more of a person’s income to the payroll tax is the option he would push for if elected president.

Compiled From Wire Reports

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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