USA

Only a "full disarmament" by Iraq would avert a war, President Bush said Tuesday, a move he dismissed as highly unlikely, as reports surfaced that Mexico is likely to support a new UN resolution on Iraq and that Russia and China may abstain rather than veto it. Bush was to outline his vision of a postwar, democratic Iraq that would serve as a model for change elsewhere in the Middle East in a speech last night at the American Enterprise Institute, the Washington Post reported. His administration plans to ask Congress for $95 billion to cover war and reconstruction costs, The Wall Street Journal said.

In a victory for antiabortion groups, the Supreme Court ruled that federal extortion and racketeering laws cannot be used to punish protest organizers if they don't acquire property as a result of their activities. The 8-to-1 decision lifted an injunction that barred Operation Rescue and other groups from staging blockades or violent demonstrations outside abortion clinics for 10 years. The groups were sued in 1986 by the National Organization for Women, which accused them of conspiring to shut down clinics.

A severe snow and ice storm was blamed for at least 14 deaths in Arkansas and Texas - among them three illegal immigrants found near the border with Mexico - as it moved across South-Central states. Numerous traffic accidents were reported, and roads and schools were closed in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Fire engulfed part of a nursing home in Hartford, Conn., killing at least 10 residents and injuring 23 others. The city's fire chief said arson investigators are looking into the early-morning blaze at the Greenwood Health Center and that one person had been arrested.

Beginning this spring, 48 commercial airline pilots will be armed with semiautomatic pistols, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday. But while their flights are still on the ground, the weapons must be kept in locked bags under a test program designed to foil hijackings like those in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (D) easily won a fifth term in a nonpartisan election Tuesday, defeating three rival challengers, all of them black. Preliminary returns showed Daley with 79 percent of the vote, prompting both critics and supporters to make comparisons to his father, who controlled the city's politics for 21 years.

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