USA

Contending that three of President Bush's top aides were not the source who exposed a CIA operative, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said he's met with Karl Rove, Lewis Libby, and Elliot Abrams, and "they were not involved in leaking classified information, nor did they condone it." McClellan's comments came ahead of a 5 p.m. deadline for White House staff to turn over related materials for a Justice Department investigation. The agent is the wife of former US diplomat Joseph Wilson, who claims the leak was in retaliation for his criticism of US allegations Iraq tried to buy uranium in Africa.

Trailing in opinion polls and in fund-raising, US Sen. Bob Graham of Florida quit the race for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination Monday, becoming the first to leave a crowded field of contenders. Appearing on CNN's "Larry King Live," Graham said he hasn't decided whether to run again for his Senate seat. He also declined to rule out being the running mate for any of his nine erstwhile rivals. "That's not a decision for anyone other than the nominee," Graham said.

US military investigators are checking taped interrogations of counterterror detainees at the Navy's Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, facility due to concerns of translation errors, The New York Times reported. While there's no evidence such errors occurred, US officials told the paper, the review comes amid a widening inquiry into alleged espionage activities by interpreters. As many as 10 people are under suspicion in the case.

Two naturalized US citizens and a Russian will share the 2003 Nobel Prize for physics. British-born Anthony Leggett of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Russian-born Alexei Abrikosov of the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago, and Vitaly Ginzburg of Moscow's P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute were honored for their theories on superconductivity and superfluidity.

Negotiations to end a week-old strike by thousands of Chicago-area garbage haulers were to resume Tuesday with the help of a federal mediator. The Teamsters union and the Chicago Area Refuse Haulers Association, which represents 16 private collectors, are divided on wages, benefits, and the length of a new contract.

Americans who use natural gas to heat their homes can expect to pay 5 percent more than last year -or $841, on average - the Energy Information Administration said in its annual forecast. Heating-oil costs are expected to drop 8 percent, to an average of $927, based on expectations of a normal winter.

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