USA

Asking "how much more time does Iraq need?" to comply with UN orders to disarm, Secretary of State Powell said he had little faith in inspections when Saddam Hussein "still responds with evasion and lies." Powell's speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, came ahead of Monday's briefing to the UN Security Council by its chief inspectors. UN backing or no, the Bush administration is in the "last phase" of its diplomatic dealings with Iraq, The Boston Globe reported, citing an administration official. But no decision on a war was expected before President Bush's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The FBI is investigating a computer worm that slowed Internet activity to a crawl around the world Saturday. The program, known as "sapphire" or "SQL slammer," was the most damaging such attack to surface in 18 months, experts said, and is believed to have originated in Hong Kong. It caused disruption, but no data losses. Bank of America, the US's third-largest financial institution, said many of its 13,000 automatic teller machines were briefly out of service. American Express also reported problems.

The pilot ejected safely, but an Air Force U-2 spy plane injured three other people when it crashed near Osan, South Korea. "We are deeply sorry for this accident," Brig. Gen. Mark Beesley, an Air Force vice commander, said in a statement. Tensions over the large US military presence - to deter a possible attack by rival North Korea - have been high since a US military court last year acquitted two Army soldiers in a traffic accident that killed two Korean girls.

Federal investigators are examining a collision between two small planes over Denver that killed all five people on board and injured six others on the ground. A spokesman for Denver Mayor Wellington Webb (D) said the latter plans to raise the issue of tighter flight restrictions for the densely populated area in talks with Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.

The new governor of Tennessee said he'll forgo his $85,000 salary as the state, like many others, faces a fiscal crisis. Gov. Phil Bredesen (D), a successful businessman, said he can't accept the money while considering possible layoffs of state workers to address a $322 million budget shortfall.

ABC-TV said it expected 80 million people in the US alone to watch the Super Bowl Sunday night. The Oakland Raiders were facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL championship game in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium. The telecast also will be seen overseas.

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