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The Bush administration issued a stern warning to Iran not to interfere in democracy-building efforts in Iraq. "Infiltration of agents to destabilize the Shiite [Muslim] population would clearly fall into that category," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. US officials say they suspect Iran's Shiite theocracy has done that. There have been calls to establish an Islamic government in Iraq from Karbala, as pilgrims flocked to the city for a Shiite holiday.

The US is reviewing "all aspects of our relationship with France," which must face the consequences of its strong opposition to the war in Iraq, Secretary of State Powell said. His remarks, on PBS-TV's "Charlie Rose Show" Wednesday, drew a defensive response from French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, who said his government had "acted in conformity with its convictions ... to defend international law."

A former top investment banker with Credit Suisse First Boston was arrested in New York on federal charges of obstruction of justice and witness-tampering. Frank Quattrone resigned last month as financial regulators investigated his involvement in alleged research conflicts of interest and questionable practices involving initial public offerings of technology stocks. Quattrone was released on his own recognizance after an initial court appearance.

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The head of NASA's space shuttle program announced his resignation, as expected. Ron Dittemore said the "very difficult" decision was in the works long before the Feb. 1 breakup of the shuttle Columbia. Dittemore's candid statements in the aftermath of the disaster made him one of the agency's most-recognized figures. Dittemore said he would to stay on until shuttles are once again cleared to fly, a move expected by the end of the year.

Families of deployed soldiers were stocking up on free groceries at National Guard Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. The guard has been inundated by donations of canned goods, bottled water, and other bulk items deemed too expensive to ship to personnel overseas, its family-assistance coordinator said. So those who can prove a family member is on active duty may take home one cartful of goods, in a giveaway that runs through Saturday, officials said.

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