June 26, 2002 • Combined dispatches and staff reports


DES MOINES -- The state this week is honoring Falun Gong, a meditation and exercise practice banned in China.

Falun Gong [practitioners] gathered on the steps of the Iowa Capitol on Saturday to celebrate the state's first official week devoted to the movement.

The [group], which claims millions of [practitioners] around the world including many in the United States, says the practice is peaceful and builds health.