USA

Californians head to the polls Tuesday, deciding whether to recall Gov. Gray Davis (D), and, if so, which of 135 candidates will replace him. Weighing in on sexual harassment claims by 15 women against his main challenger, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Davis said the Republican owes voters a full explanation. Schwarzenegger, for his part, said he wouldn't discuss the matter further until after the election.

The Bush administration is conducting a major revamp of military and rebuilding efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, amid criticism of the missions' high costs and mounting casualties. A confidential memo, first reported by The New York Times, puts National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in charge of a White House task force, the Iraq Stabilization Group. Officials said the reorganization will improve accountability and oversight in four areas: counterterrorism, economic and political issues, and media contacts. Meanwhile, a serious disagreement erupted between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and members of his cabinet, a Karzai spokesman said, over whether military commanders may run in the June presidential election.

A University of Illinois professor and a British scientist will share this year's Nobel Prize in medicine. American Paul Lauterbur and Sir Peter Mansfield contributed separately to the development of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technology, a widely used diagnostic tool. Lauterbur, who will split $1.3 million in prize money, said he was "surprised and very gratified" by the award. "I think the work has been helpful to many people, and I'm happy that has been acknowledged by the Swedish academy," he added.

New Hampshire is suing 22 oil companies for alleged water contamination by a gasoline additive, Gov. Craig Benson (R) announced. The chemical MTBE is used to lower air pollution, but turned up in 15 percent of the state's public water supplies last year, and the problem "appears to be worsening," the state's attorney general said.

The Chicago Cubs moved a step closer to their first World Series appearance since 1945. With a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves Sunday in Georgia, the Major League Baseball team advanced to the National League Championship against the Florida Marlins. Game One is set for Tuesday night at Chicago's Wrigley Field. The Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908.

Atlanta Thrashers hockey star Dany Heatley is likely to face vehicular homicide charges, police said, following the death of teammate Dan Snyder Sunday. Both were injured a week ago when Heatley crashed his Ferrari while allegedly speeding on a narrow, two-lane road. Police are awaiting test results on whether alcohol was a factor in the accident.

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