USA

A victims' name-reading ceremony at the site of the former World Trade Center in New York, and moments of silence around the country were among the largely toned-down observances planned for Thursday's second anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed almost 3,000 people in New York, at the Pentagon, and in rural Pennsylvania. The FBI said there is no plan to raise the nation's terror-alert status, currently at yellow, the mid-level, for the date. A federal judge ruled Tuesday that negligence lawsuits from the terrorist hijackings may proceed against American and United Airlines, aircraft builder Boeing, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the Trade Center property.

Ex-baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth is also an ex-candidate for governor of California. Ueberroth dropped out of the race Tuesday, saying there wasn't enough time for his pro-jobs message to catch on with voters. The Republican businessman, who ran as an independent, is the third to quit the Oct. 7 recall election on Gov. Gray Davis (D).

By a 68 percent margin, Alabama voters firmly rejected a $1.2 billion tax package proposed by Gov. Bob Riley (R) to address the state's $675 million budget deficit. The governor, who had warned that a "no" vote would result in deep cuts to education, prisons, and services for the elderly and mentally ill, was expected to call a special legislative session Monday.

Former Enron treasurer Ben Glisan was sentenced to five years in prison, the maximum, by a federal judge in Houston after pleading guilty to conspiracy. Glisan also agreed to forfeit almost $1 million in profits from a questionable investment partnership arrangement with the energy trader. He is the second former executive to plead guilty, and the first to be sentenced, in the massive accounting fraud that led to Enron's record-setting 2001 bankruptcy.

Ten Texas state senators were returning from almost six weeks in self-imposed exile in Albuquerque, N.M. The Democrats will attend a federal court hearing Thursday in Laredo on their lawsuit challenging the GOP-backed congressional redistricting bill that they fled to block. Gov. Rick Perry (R), meanwhile, called a third special session Monday in Austin to consider the measure. Approval is likely since an 11th Democrat has agreed to attend, providing the quorum needed.

Edward Teller, who died Tuesday in Stanford, Calif., was known as "the father of the H-bomb" for his role in developing nuclear weapons, both atomic and hydrogen. The Hungarian-born, German-educated Teller was a strong cold war advocate of the "star wars" missile-defense program, and worked most recently as a senior research fellow on defense and energy policy at Stanford University.

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