USA

Victory in Iraq is "certain, but not complete," President Bush declared while returning attention to his domestic agenda. In a speech timed to Tuesday's income tax-filing deadline, Bush said Americans need "immediate tax relief" and called on Congress to enact reductions all at once, not "little by little." The president has proposed $726 billion in tax cuts over 10 years. The House approved $550 billion, and Senate $350 billion. Bush is expected to continue the pressure Wednesday, during a visit to a Boeing Co. plant in St. Louis.

Four suspects aged 17 to 19 are in police custody following a shooting at a high school in New Orleans Monday. One boy was killed and four girls were injured when gunmen armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and a handgun turned the weapons on students in the gym at John McDonogh High School. Police said the attack appeared to be in retaliation for a fatal shooting last week. It wasn't clear how the assailants got into the school, which has metal detectors and security guards. In an unrelated incident, authorities in Shreveport, La., said one student accidentally shot and injured another while showing him a gun in school.

In a partial victory for Philip Morris USA, an Illinois judge halved the $12 billion bond the cigarettemaker must pay to appeal a class-action judgment against it. The subsidiary of Altria Group had argued that posting the full amount would force it into bankruptcy and imperil payments to states under the 1998 national tobacco settlement. The judge ruled last month that Philip Morris had misled smokers into thinking its "light" cigarettes were less harmful to smokers than regular brands.

James Ujaama, an American accused of supporting Al Qaeda, pleaded guilty Monday in US District Court in Seattle to lesser charges of conspiring to funnel money, computers, and fighters to Afghanistan's former Taliban regime. Under his plea deal with prosecutors, Ujaama will serve a two-year sentence and cooperate with the investigation into Abu Hamza al-Masri, a London cleric and purported recruiter for Islamist terror groups in Europe.

California authorities were investigating whether the remains of a woman found on a beach in the north of the state may be those of Laci Peterson, and were scheduled to issue an announcement as the Monitor went to press. Peterson was eight months pregnant when she disappeared Dec. 24. The body of an infant also was found about a mile away.

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