USA

The Bush administration threatened to veto $87 billion in funding for Iraq and Afghanistan if Congress includes loans in the package. The Senate version requires repayment of about half of $18.4 billion in rebuilding aid for Iraq. A nonbinding resolution approved by the House Tuesday urges negotiators to include the provision, and another improving military medical benefits, in the final version of the bill. But GOP leaders said they don't intend to do that. "I'll continue to work for grants," said Sen. Bill Frist (R) of Tennessee, the majority leader.

Intervening in a contentious right-to-die case, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) ordered restoration of feeding devices to a comatose woman Tuesday. Bush acted shortly after state lawmakers approved unprecedented legislation crafted to apply to Terri Schiavo. Her husband won court permission last week to cease medical procedures keeping her alive, over the strong objections of her parents. Legal experts anticipated a historic court battle.

Changing his mind after two days of defending himself, sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad asked to be represented by his two former attorneys at his capital murder trial in Virginia Beach, Va. The judge agreed. Prosecutors had complained that Muhammad was receiving too much advice from the lawyers, who were acting as standby counsel. Muhammad is accused in a fatal shooting at a northern Virginia gas station last year in one of a series of sniper attacks that killed 10 people.

Hot weather was fueling four wildfires that erupted in Southern California Tuesday. One, in the rural Reche Canyon area of Riverside County, grew to 1,000 acres overnight and destroyed six homes. Forestry officials said the blaze was deliberately set. Other fires were burning near Burbank, Fontana, and at Camp Pendleton Marine base.

The families of two people shot, one of them fatally, in video-game inspired attacks sued Wal-Mart, Sony Computer Entertainment, and two design companies for $246 million. The lawsuit, filed Monday in Cocke County, Tenn., claims "Grand Theft Auto III" inspires and trains players to target vehicles and people. Two teenage stepbrothers who pleaded guilty in August to firing at cars told investigators they were imitating the game. An industry spokesman said there is no credible evidence that violent games lead to violent behavior.

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