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Senior Al Qaeda leaders are in Iran "and they are busy" plotting new attacks, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said after a meeting with the Crown Prince of Bahrain. His comment came a day after the US security alert was raised to orange, the second-highest level, and Homeland Security Secretary Ridge asked governors around the country to step up precautions for public gatherings on Memorial Day weekend.

The US economy is still sending mixed signals, but if necessary, the Federal Reserve remains ready to cut interest rates below their already record lows, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress. Market analysts were closely monitoring the testimony for his assessment on risks of deflation.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Christie Todd Whitman resigned, saying in a letter to President Bush, "It is time to return to my home and husband in New Jersey." She formerly served as governor there and reportedly had differed with some Bush administration policies on environmental issues. Her departure, effective June 27, is the second from the administration in two days, with more expected as Bush prepares to run for reelection.

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An oil spill that devastated Buzzards Bay, Mass., last month was far larger than first reported, the Coast Guard said, adding that the discrepancy will be part of its investigation. A leaking barge spilled 98,000 gallons, not the 14,700 estimated by its owner, Bouchard Transportation Inc., a Coast Guard official said. The spill closed the state's prime shellfish beds and killed 350 birds.

Annika Sorenstam tees off with the men Thursday at the Colonial Invitational Tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, making her the first female to play in a Professional Golf Association event in almost 60 years, and only the second in history. "I'm doing this to test myself," Sorenstam asserted Tuesday, saying she was "overwhelmed" by the intense public and media attention.

A 13-hour armed standoff that left four police officers wounded in Montrose, W. Va., ended with a suspect in custody. Police used tear gas to force Scott Ennis out of his farmhouse. As many as 60 officers had surrounded the residence to serve a warrant after the shooting of a policeman during a traffic stop.

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