USA

During Thursday's wrap-up of public hearings into the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the special 10-member commission investigating the disaster is scheduled to hear from Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as federal aviation and air-defense officials. The committee, which reconvened Wednesday and must file its final report by July 26, anticipates looking at the Sept. 11 timeline and determining whether it would have been possible to deflect any of the airliners or shoot them down. The commission said in a staff report that it had turned up "no credible evidence" that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had helped Al Qaeda to target the US despite White House claims of long- established ties between the two.

Before settling on a timetable for handing over Hussein to Iraq's interim government, President Bush said Tuesday he wants assurances that the ex-dictator will stay in jail and not somehow be freed or escape justice. His statement appeared at odds with an earlier assertion by Iraq's interim prime minister that his government would take custody of Hussein as it assumes power June 30.

Almost one-third of new jobs in the US are going to immigrants, according to a report released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center. Its study claims that 378,496 jobs of 1.3 million added since early 2003 have gone to noncitizens. In another labor-related development, a group of House Democrats unveiled a plan to repeal tax breaks to companies that send jobs overseas.

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D) decried a ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that the state pay Enron and other energy traders almost $270 million in refunds. Lockyer said Tuesday that the order was particularly hard to swallow given recently released transcripts of Enron traders gloating about how they'd gouged the state. In a complex arrangement of buying and reselling energy involving utilities and energy companies, FERC says California is entitiled to refunds roughly equal to what it has to pay in refunds.

The Detroit Pistons completed their stunning upset of the star-studded and heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night, winning the National Basketball Association finals, 4 games to 1. With a 100-87 victory in the clincher, Detroit became the first Eastern Conference team to win the title since the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in 1998. (Story, page 3.)

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