USA

John Kerry far outdistanced the other Democratic presidential hopefuls in primaries in Tennessee and Virginia Tuesday, scoring his first Southern victories and making him the clear favorite to earn his party's nomination. Poor third-place showings in his home region prompted retired Gen. Wesley Clark to withdraw from the race. But John Edwards, the runner-up in both states, and Howard Dean, who skipped Virginia and Tennessee to concentrate on next week's primary in Wisconsin, both said they weren't ready to drop out.

President Bush was to outline a series of proposals to curtail the spread of nuclear weapons in a speech at the National Defense University Wednesday. One reported focus of the address: an incentive for countries to give up production of their own fissile fuels in exchange for a guaranteed supply of fuel for civilian nuclear reactors.

By September, US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan will be $19 billion overspent, Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, told the Senate Armed Forces Committee. The administration is expected to pursue emergency funding next January, but until then the military may have to shift money from other projects to cover the four-month spending gap, defense officials said.

To help protect the multibillion-dollar-a-year poultry export industry, agricultural officials in Delaware called for the slaughter of 72,000 chickens and the quarantine of 80 farms for at least 30 days. A second case of bird flu was found Tuesday in the state, a major poultry producer. Seven countries have temporarily banned US exports because of the discoveries.

An independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks accepted a 17-page summary of presidential briefing documents rather than press the White House to see the original documents.

The economy has turned the corner and can anticipate growth, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress during his semiannual report on monetary policy. Analysts said they expect the Fed to leave interest rates unchanged, at least until there are signs of major increase in the number of new jobs.

Calling an increase in HIV infections among black male college students in North Carolina surprising, medical researchers at a conference in San Francisco expressed concern about a possible surge among other black males across the South. They attributed the looming "public health emergency" to risky sexual encounters between men.

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