USA

US flags flew at half-staff, and most world governments sent condolences for the destruction of the shuttle Columbia. All seven crew members - six Americans and one Israeli - died when the shuttle broke apart 16 minutes before it was due to land Saturday. Military personnel, the FBI, and police were recovering debris from Texas to Louisiana. NASA suspended all shuttle flights pending investigations into the disaster. Early attention focused on insulation foam that struck Columbia's left wing during its Jan. 16 launch.

A rocket carrying a three-month supply of food and fuel for the two Americans and one Russian aboard the International Space Station was launched Sunday from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome. A spokesman for the Russian space agency said even if their scheduled pickup in March by the US shuttle Atlantis is canceled, the crew won't be stranded. The station also has a Soyuz spacecraft for emergency evacuations.

Air Force and Navy jets would unleash 3,000 precision-guided missiles in the first 48 hours of war with Iraq, The New York Times reported, citing military and other Defense Department sources. The initial bombardment would be aimed at Iraq's military and civilian leadership as well as at suspected biological and chemical weapons sites. Meanwhile, a new ABC/Washington Post poll found 66 percent of respondents now support military action against Iraq. In addition, 51 percent favored war even without UN backing, the first time that position drew majority approval.

Thousands of New Jersey's 22,000 doctors are expected to join a two-day walkout starting Monday, to protest the rising cost of malpractice insurance. The action follows similar moves by physicians in Florida, West Virginia, and elsewhere, but is the first to affect medical services for an entire state.

Actress Jane Fonda withdrew the bulk of a $12.5 million donation to Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. The Boston Globe quoted Fonda associates as saying she was unhappy with the handling of the bequest, in particular failure to pick a chairman for a new research center to study gender in education.

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