The Bush administration will not negotiate for the release of an American soldier by his kidnappers in Iraq, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said. Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," she said US forces in Iraq "are working, as you might imagine, to see what can be done to free hostages," but not in a fashion that would "intimidate" the coalition "or the Iraqi people, for that matter." A soldier identifying himself as Army Pvt. Keith Maupin is seen on a videotape on which his captors propose to exchange him for Iraqis held by the coalition.
The Supreme Court is to take up the high-profile case of imprisoned Al Qaeda and Taliban suspects Tuesday in one of the biggest tests so far of President Bush's exercise of wartime powers. Lawyers for 12 Kuwaitis, two Australians, and two British citizens captured in Afghanistan two years ago are expected to argue that their clients are entitled to prisoner-of-war protections under the Geneva conventions, whereas the administration maintains they are illegal enemy combatants and may be held - and interrogated - for as long as is considered necessary. Two lower federal courts have ruled in favor of the administration's position.
New Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is scheduled to sign into law Monday perhaps his biggest victory to date: the overhaul of California's workers' compensation program. The 91-year-old system has some of the highest insurance premiums for employers and some of the lowest benefits for people injured on the job, making it the nation's costliest. The overhaul, passed Friday by overwhelming margins in both houses of the legislature, sets a higher standard of proof for employees making injury claims and imposes strict time limits on the payment of medical benefits.
Federal prosecutors "probably" will take over the Dru Sjodin case, state and local authorities said, after the University of North Dakota student's remains were found Saturday by a search party in neighboring Minnesota. Sjodin had been missing since she was last seen leaving a shopping mall in Grand Forks, N.D., Nov. 22; the son of a family friend - a repeat sex offender - is charged with her abduction. Neither North Dakota nor Minnesota has the death penalty, but federal law allows prosecutors to seek it, and US attorneys for both states were at the site of the discovery.