USA

More than two weeks after the Nov. 2 election, Washington State gubernatorial candidates Dino Rossi (R) and Christine Gregoire (D), above, were entering "overtime" to determine the winner. Rossi held a 261-vote margin after the tally of all mailed-in ballots finally ended Wednesday, triggering an automatic recount. The recount is expected to be completed in a week. Washington and Alaska are the only states that allow ballots to be mailed on Election Day.

In the three years leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks, low-level CIA spies had infiltrated Al Qaeda but were never in a position to know the terrorists' plans in advance, a newly released intelligence document indicates. The testimony by former White House counter- terrorism official Richard Clarke was part of a 2002 closed-door intelligence briefing, the transcript of which was released by the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday.

Democratic Party leaders were questioning why Sen. John Kerry didn't spend $15 million left in his campaign war chest during his failed run for the White House, the Associated Press reported. Some leaders said they'd urge the junior senator from Massachusetts to give the money to Democratic campaign committees rather than save it for a possible future run.

House Republicans voted Wednesday to modify party rules in a change widely interpreted as a means to keep majority leader Tom DeLay in office should he be charged in an investigation into alleged irregularities in Texas legislative races. Democrats view the decision as an ethical compromise.

Businesses in which women of color hold majority ownership are growing six times faster than the rate for all US companies, results of a new study released by the Center for Women's Business Research showed. Between 1997 and 2004, it found that businesses owned by minority female entrepreneurs grew 54.6 percent, to 1.4 million.

The Clinton Presidential Center, the new $165 million glass-and-steel presidential library that chronicles Bill Clinton's eight years in the White House, is to open to the public Friday in Little Rock, Ark.

Several passengers were credited with helping to keep a charter bus from plunging off the 200-foot-high Sunshine Skyway Bridge at St. Petersburg, Fla., Wednesday. Reports said the driver appeared to suffer an attack and collapsed, causing the bus to ram a 3-foot concrete retaining wall. The driver died at a hospital several hours later. The bridge spans Tampa Bay.

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