USA

NASA's second Mars rover, Opportunity, returned images of a rocky Red Planet Sunday morning. Three weeks after NASA's first unmanned spacecraft, Spirit, bounced down on Mars, Opportunity landed at 9:05 pm PST Saturday on a "bizarre landscape" in the planet's Maridian Planum, 6,600 miles from its rover twin. The images transmitted four hours after Opportunity's "flawless landing" showed a rocky martian terrain. The second landing was greeted by jubilant NASA scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Campaigning as a "fighter" with a "shot," Howard Dean was chipping away at US Sen. John Kerry's lead in the polls heading into tomorrow's New Hampshire primary. According to a poll released Sunday by Reuters, Kerry held a seven-point lead over Dean, although the latter had picked up two points. During a bitterly cold weekend of knocking on doors and stump speeches, Dean said Kerry's support for the Iraq war left him "deeply concerned" about his judgment. The Kerry camp fired back, saying voters want a "steady hand, not a clenched fist," referring to Dean's fiery post-Iowa speech. Wesley Clark maintained third place in the polls, followed, by John Edwards and Joseph Lieberman.

Vice President Cheney encouraged multilateral support for democratic reforms in the Middle East in a Saturday speech delivered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Cheney called on "friends and allies everywhere" to join the US in confronting "ideologies of violence" in the Middle East.

Former UN weapons inspector David Kay said Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction prior to the US-led Iraq invasion. Kay told National Public Radio Sunday that his team led a search "to find the truth, not to find the weapons." The challenge, he said, remains to discover why intelligence indicated such weapons existed in Iraq prior to the war. Kay resigned Friday to be replaced by Charles Duelfer, formerly the No. 2 weapons inspector for the UN.

A female corrections officer remained the only hostage at a Buckeye, Ariz., state prison Sunday. A second guard was freed unharmed Saturday after the two inmates, who are holed up in a watch tower, took delivery of an item they'd demanded but which authorities refused to identify. The prisoners took the guards hostage Jan 18.

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