USA

Iraq has a "vicious, dictatorial" regime, but President Bush has not made a decision on military action to remove Saddam Hussein amid national and international debate, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said Tuesday. While many US allies oppose the idea, Rumsfeld said, "It's less important to have unanimity than it is to be making the right decision." His comments, to Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif., were the latest in a series by administration officials this week. However, they stopped short of Vice President Cheney's characterization of Iraq as an imminent threat.

In what an FBI agent says is being investigated as an "anthrax hoax," staffers at former Vice President Gore's office in Nashville, Tenn., called in a hazardous - materials team after finding a white powdery substance in an envelope Tuesday. The office will remain closed pending tests. There have been a series of such hoaxes since anthrax-tainted letters killed five people and made at least 13 others ill last fall.

In primary elections, football Hall of Famer and former US Rep. Steve Largent won the Republican nomination in the race to succeed Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating (R). Term limits bar Keating from running again. The Democratic nominee will be determined by a runoff. In Alaska, Sen. Frank Murkowski (R) won the GOP gubernatorial nod, while Democrats picked Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer. If she wins in November, Ulmer would be the state's first female governor.

Convicted polygamist Tom Green was sentenced to five years to life in prison by a court in Nephi, Utah, for child rape. One of Green's five wives was 13 when they married in 1986. The sentence was the minimum possible and will run concurrently with the five-year term that Green is already serving for bigamy.

California police issued a regional alert for a 9-year-old boy abducted at gunpoint early Wednesday from his home in a suburb of Palm Springs. Police said two men drove off with Nicholas Farber in a white sport utility vehicle after assaulting the child's father.

New York and San Francisco were chosen as US semifinalists to play host to the Olympic Summer Games in 2012. The US Olympic Committee will choose between them Nov. 3. The International Olympic Committee, meanwhile, whittled its list for the 2010 Winter Olympics to four cities: Vancouver, British Columbia; Salzburg, Austria; Bern, Switzerland; and Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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