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A senior Pentagon official denied reports of skewed intelligence on Iraq in the runup to the war there. Doug Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, said he came forward to "lay to rest" as inaccurate suggestions that a special intelligence group was told to find evidence linking the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein to weapons of mass destruction and to Al Qaeda. His comments followed revelations that the CIA is reviewing whether a report issued in October overestimated Iraq's threat. The House and Senate also plan inquiries.

In a split decision, a federal jury in Detroit convicted two Arab immigrants of terrorism charges Tuesday, in the first major trial of its type since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. A third defendant was found guilty of document fraud. A fourth, Farouk Ali-Haimoud, was acquitted on all counts. They were accused of operating a sleeper cell for an unidentified Islamist group and of plotting attacks in the US and other countries. Above, Ali-Haimoud (l.) and his mother, Meriam Ladjadj, react to the verdicts at a press conference in their home.

The House was set to vote on a a bill banning a controversial late-term abortion procedure, with passage expected by a comfortable margin. The Senate already has approved a similar measure, and President Bush has said he'll sign it, capping an eight-year effort to prohibit what opponents term partial-birth abortion. The measure is almost certain to face a legal challenge before the Supreme Court.

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Home-decor icon Martha Stewart was appearing at a federal court in New York for an expected indictment in connection with the ImClone insider-trading scandal as the Monitor went to press. An attorney for Stewart said his client "intends to declare her innocence and proceed to trial." Stewart sold shares in the biotech firm shortly before its stock plummeted when a new treatment was rejected by the Food and Drug Administration. (Story, page 1.)

Authorities in Bayton, Texas, found the remains of three illegal immigrants in a railroad car Tuesday. A Roman Catholic priest in Austin raised the alarm after being contacted by two men who reportedly escaped the sweltering Union Pacific car by tying clothing into a makeshift rope. The discovery came three weeks after 19 illegal immigrants died while being smuggled into the country inside a tractor-trailer.

Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa was considered likely to face at least a temporary suspension from Major League Baseball after being ejected from a game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for using a illegal corked bat. The alteration can increase hitting distance. (Editorial, page 8.)

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