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Faced with mounting questions about US intelligence on Iraq, President Bush asserted that Saddam Hussein's former regime had a well-documented illegal weapons program and said he is "absolutely convinced that, with time," it will be found. His comment to reporters at a Cabinet meeting came as he and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the US's top ally, are under fire from critics who claim their administrations exaggerated Iraq's weapons capabilities to justify an attack. No biological or chemical weapons have been found, although searches have turned up extensive mass graves and other evidence of atrocities by the ousted Hussein government.

In a major shakeup, Freddie Mac fired its president for noncompliance with an audit of 2000-02 financial statements. The quasi-governmental mortgage-finance agency said its chairman and chief financial officer will leave as well and that an earnings restatement may be delayed until the third quarter. The announcement sent Freddie Mac shares and bonds down sharply in early trading.

As part of its anthrax-letter probe, the FBI began draining a municipal pond in Frederick, Md., the agency confirmed. The Washington Post reported last month that some FBI investigators suspect the person or persons behind the attacks used the pond to prepare tainted mail, and that vials and a plastic box have been found there. Five people died and 17 others became ill from contact with tainted mail in September 2001.

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A missing nine-year-old was reunited with her family in San Jose, Calif., late Sunday after a 48-hour ordeal. Jennette Tamayo was found "crying and scared" at a convenience store fewer than 30 miles from her home, police said. She did not appear seriously injured and was providing investigators with information that could lead to an arrest shortly. The child was abducted Friday by an intruder who beat her mother and older brother while escaping. Parts of the incident were caught on a surveillance videotape.

NASA officials were making a second attempt to launch a Mars-bound spacecraft. Sunday's planned liftoff was postponed due to bad weather, and it wasn't clear that conditions would improve Monday. Another craft carrying an identical six-wheeled robotic rover is supposed to follow within two weeks on a mission to study the Red Planet's surface for signs of water.

The musical "Hairspray" won eight Tony Awards, among them best in its category. Its stars, Marissa Jaret Winokur and Harvey Fierstein, won best actress and actor, respectively, in a ceremony at New York's Radio City Music Hall Sunday. In the drama category, "Long Day's Journey Into Night" and "Take Me Out" each took three of Broadway's top honors. CBS-TV broacast the ceremony.

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