USA

No decision on what to do with captured Taliban fighter John Walker, who claims to be an American, has been reached, a Pentagon spokeswoman said. Walker (above, in a frame from CNN footage) is being treated by US forces in Afghanistan for injuries sustained during the recent prisoner revolt at a fortress near Mazar-e Sharif. Defense officials said two other prisoners who claim to be US citizens also have yet to be handed over by their Northern Alliance captors.

US authorities in four cities raided offices of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Richardson, Texas-based charity that allegedly raised funds for the militant Palestinian group Hamas. The Bush administration also froze the foundation's assets. The foundation raised more than $13 million last year and is one of the largest US-based Muslim charities. Hamas has claimed responsibility for scores of attacks against Israelis, most recently last weekend's bombings, which killed 25 people.

Monday's alert on terrorist attacks had "nothing to do" with concerns about Osama bin Laden obtaining a crude or "dirty" nuclear device, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge told NBC. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that captured Al Qaeda members and documents turned up evidence the terror network had more information than previously thought on how to build such a device. (Related story, page 1.)

A third successful test of Bush's proposed missile defense system was conductedMonday night, the Pentagon said. A "kill vehicle" launched from the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific hit a dummy warhead on a Minuteman-2 missile fired 20 minutes earlier from California, ignoring a decoy designed to confuse it. China and Russia oppose the plan to develop a missile shield.

In what could have a profound financial and lifestyle impact for AIDS patients, a new study by the National Institutes of Health suggested that those taking a combination of antiretroviral drugs can adopt a week-on, week-off schedule and still manage the disease. The findings, by federal researchers, were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Olympic torch began winding its way to Salt Lake City, for the 2002 Winter Games, after its arrival in Atlanta from Athens, Greece. Boxing great Muhammad Ali was first to pass the torch to 1968 gold medal skater Peggy Fleming at the welcoming ceremony. More than 11,000 bearers will carry the torch in a 46-state, 80-city relay. Among them: Lyz Glick, whose husband, Jeremy, was a passenger aboard the hijacked airliner that went down in rural western Pennsylvania Sept. 11. Opening ceremonies for the Winter Games are scheduled for Feb. 8.

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