USA

Kenneth Lay, the founder, former chairman, and chief executive of scandal-ridden Enron Corp., surrendered to the FBI Thursday in Houston after being indicted by a federal grand jury on various charges, among them conspiracy to commit securities fraud and making false and misleading statements. In a statement Wednesday, Lay said he'd done nothing wrong and called the indictment unjustified. Some of his lieutenants have already been charged during an investigation that began after Enron went bankrupt in late 2001.

In response to a recent Supreme Court decision, the Pentagon announced that it will create a tribunal to review whether suspected terrorists imprisoned at the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are being held legally and can contest their detention in US courts. President Bush has thus far deemed 15 of about 595 prionsers eligible for such trials.

Five brothers of Middle East descent were convicted by a federal jury in Dallas Wednesday of illegally selling computers to countries that support terrorism. The verdict followed three days of deliberation. No sentencing date was set for Ghassan, Basman, Bayan, Hazim, and Ihsan Elashi. The case precedes one scheduled for later this year in which three of the Elashis are accused of using the computer business to funnel money to Hamas militants.

Book-reading has declined sharply across the country, the National Endowment for the Arts said in releasing a report showing that the number of nonreading adults increased by more than 17 million between 1992 and 2002. Competition from television, movies, and the Internet are considered likely reasons for the dropoff.

Wassef Ali Hassoun, the US marine corporal captured in Iraq, has surfaced in his native Lebanon, ABC News reported Thursday. It said he was safe in the US Embassy in Beirut. Various other reports had been circulating about Hassoun, who disappeared June 20 and was shown blindfolded on a videotape broadcast a week later. Some skeptics even suggested that the incident was an elaborate hoax.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., released pictures Wednesday taken by the international Cassini spacecraft that could ultimately help explain the origins of Saturn's rings.

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