USA

At least six of the highjackers in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks broke immigration laws and potentially could have been stopped from entering the country, according to a preliminary report by a special commission investigating them. During two days of hearings that ended Tuesday, the bipartisan panel also said the Federal Aviation Administration downplayed the threat of suicide hijackers before the attacks, considering aircraft bombings a more immediate danger. The commission requested a two-month extension for its final report, saying it won't be ready by the May 27 deadline.

In a largely symbolic victory, Democrat Wesley Clark won eight of the 15 votes cast in Dixville Notch, N.H. Residents of the tiny rural town voted at midnight in the state's first-in-the nation primary but are not regarded as strong indicators of overall results. Above, a tote board displays the town's totals as an aide briefs Clark. An expected 180,000 New Hampshire voters were going to the polls despite temperatures in the single digits.

Controversial former chief US weapons inspector in Iraq David Kay is scheduled to testify Wednesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Kay caused a stir by saying that after a nine-month search, he has concluded Saddam Hussein hadn't stockpiled weapons of mass destruction, as President Bush asserted before the war. Minority leader Tom Daschle (D) of South Dakota is calling for an inquiry into "the administration's role in intelligence failures" leading up to the conflict. Bush administration officials said the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) that Kay formerly led needs more time to complete its work.

At least 42 deaths were blamed on the winter storm that iced roads and downed power lines from Kansas to the East Coast. More than 330,000 residents were without electricity in the Carolinas and Georgia. In Michigan, authorities advised against driving, anticipating 21 inches of snow. And the federal government gave workers "unscheduled leave" as Washington braced for up to seven inches, its heaviest snowfall this winter.

Taking an early lead in the Oscar race, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" garnered 11 nominations from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Individuals nominated for the industry's top honors include Johnny Depp, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Charlize Theron, and Diane Keaton. The Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 29 at a ceremony in Los Angeles.

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