USA

A 17-page plan confiscated from an anti-American "operative" in Iraq by US troops reveals the strongest evidence to date of contacts between extremists there and Al-Qaeda terrorists, The New York Times reported. The document, whose existence was confirmed by US commanders, appeals to Al-Qaeda leaders for help in fomenting unrest between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, the newspaper said.

Two vehicles were shot at from overpasses near Columbus, Ohio, Sunday in incidents consistent with 21 others that have occurred in the area since May. No new injuries were reported, but the shootings offered investigators potential leads, since eyewitness gave detailed descriptions of the apparent gunman in one case and of a parked car that may have been his in another. Both shootings happened about 25 miles from where the series of unsolved incidents have taken place.

Elderly patients were wrongfully prescribed dangerous drugs during 8 percent of their visits to doctors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new report. The data were from 2000. A CDC spokeswoman said the "sizable problem" hasn't improved since the last study in 1995.

In the lead-up to Tuesday's primaries in Virginia and Tennessee, John Kerry scored another decisive victory in the Democratic presidential campaign, this time in Maine. The Massachusetts senator received 46 percent of the vote in the state's caucuses Sunday.

California is slated to execute a death-row inmate for the first time in two years at 12:01 a.m Tuesday. Despite protests, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals refused to stay the execution of convicted murderer Kevin Cooper for the deaths of four people in 1983.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) appealed for fair treatment in court-martial proceedings against Illinois National Guard fighter pilot Harry Schmidt. In a letter to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Blagojevich asked for permission for a staffer to attend the court-martial brought against Major Schmidt, who is charged with dereliction of duty for the friendlyfire bombing deaths of four Canadians in Afghanistan in 2002.

Beyoncé Knowles won five Grammys at the recording industry's premier awards ceremony Sunday night. She shared one for best rhythm and blues performance by a duo or group, with Luther Vandross, who won four awards himself, including song of the year, "Dance With My Father."

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