* Over 1,300 Iraqis have died in the past week due to the sharp uptick in violence. Asks one Iraqi, "And they say there is no sectarian war? What do you call this?" [WP]


* 70% of Americans are against the Dubai port deal, including 58% of Republicans; Bush's approval rating slips to 34% in NYT-CBS poll. [NYT]

* Coast Guard assessment cited "many intelligence gaps" in Dubai port deal. [WP, NYT, USAT, WT]

* Senate drafts bill to curb earmarks. [WP]

* India meets Bush with a new sense of empowerment. [NYT]

* Intelligence agencies remain in bureaucratic disarray. [NYT]

* Administration will oppose new United Nations panel on human rights. Kofi Annan: "I think we should not let the better be the enemy of the good." [WP]

* Federal judge denies new work rules for Department of Defense; setback for the administration. [WP]

* AFL-CIO intends to spend $40m on the midterm elections. [NYT]

* 55% of Americans are open to the idea of a higher gas tax if it's productive for the environment and energy security. [NYT]

* Administration wants to chop $22m from AmeriCorps. [WP]

* Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) urges Red Cross to focus on disaster relief. [NYT, USAT]

* Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) draws criticism for possible conflicts of interests concerning his past as a lobbyist. [NYT]

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