USA

As insurgents launched fresh attacks on US soldiers in Iraq, killing two Americans and wounding another, President Bush made a plea for patience, saying the US is "going to have to remain tough." Bush spoke in Gabarone, Botswana, amid fresh allegations back home - this time from a group of arms control experts - that his administration misrepresented intelligence information to justify the war. Bush said it would "take more than 90 to 100 days for people to recognize the great joys of freedom and the responsibilities that come with freedom." More than 70 US soldiers have died in Iraq since Bush's May 1 declaration that major combat was over.

The owner of an Arabic-language newspaper published in Chicago was arrested for allegedly spying on Iraqi opposition leaders for Saddam Hussein's intelligence service. In announcing the charges against Khaled Dumeisi, federal prosecutors Wednesday claimed he also provided Iraqi intelligence agents with fake press credentials that could help them evade travel restrictions. The charges are based in part on documents found in a Baghdad safehouse in April.

The Senate confirmed Bush's nominees to fill four vacancies on the 16-member US Court of Federal Claims. By a vote of 54-43, the Senate approved Victor Wolksi, a Washington attorney, and then OK'd three others by a voice vote - Mary Ellen Coster Williams of Maryland, Susan Braden of the District of Columbia, and Charles Lettow of Virginia.

Aiming to decrease Los Angeles International Airport's vulnerability to terrorism, the city's mayor, James Hahn, is pushing a $9 billion renovation plan to keep cars away from its terminals. The plan would set up a remote check-in point with a tram to move passengers to terminals, including a new 6.5 million square-foot main terminal.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago reached a $4 million settlement with four alleged victims of sexual abuse by an ex-priest, Vincent McCaffrey, officials said. McCaffrey was convicted last year on child pornography charges. The settlement was part of ongoing talks in several abuse cases.

A plan to ship nuclear waste from Nevada to New Mexico through southern California was canceled Wednesday due to opposition from state officials, the Department of Energy said. It marked the first time shipment plans were halted because of a state's resistance.

An increase in the number of American workers signing up for unemployment benefits surprised economists, who had widely forecast a decline. The Labor Department said that for the work week ending July 5, new claims for unemployment insurance rose by a seasonally adjusted 5,000 to 439,000, the highest level since May 31.

Thunderstorms swept across Indiana and Ohio into Pennsylvania and Virginia, sending countless streams and rivers over their banks, across roads, and into homes and businesses. Thursday marked the seventh day of storms for a waterlogged Midwest, and the National Weather Service said more rain was on the way.

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