USA

The attorney for Scott Peterson, the former fertilizer salesman sentenced to death Monday, said all possible appeals will be pursued. Formal sentencing isn't scheduled until Feb. 25, but legal observers consider it unlikely that the judge in the case will exercise the option of reducing the penalty to life in prison. Jurors in the case, in which Peterson was found guilty of murdering his wife, Laci, and their unborn child, said the defendant's seeming lack of sorrow and remorse was a factor in their decision in the high-profile Redwood City, Calif., case. Peterson might not be executed for decades - if ever - given the protracted appeals process and the backlog of death row executions. California has carried out only 10 since 1978, but has 641 inmates on death row.

Google, the most-used Internet search engine, announced an ambitious initiative Monday to scan books at the New York Public Library as well as libraries at four high-profile universities - Harvard, Stanford, Michigan, and Oxford in England. Although not a new idea, Google's commitment marks a quantum leap in making hard-to-find books available to the public. Google, which faces stiff competition from Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN, will provide unrestricted access to materials no longer covered by copyrights.

While exploring the Red Planet on Monday, the Mars rover Spirit found goethite, a mineral considered particularly important in the search for geologic evidence of the planet's watery past. Goethite forms only in the presence of water, although it may be in liquid, ice, or gaseous form.

With New York federal courts facing 4,000 immigrant appeals cases, many requesting asylum, the Justice Department is ordering hundreds of lawyers across the US to help deal with the emergency, The Washington Post reported.

In a White House ceremony, President Bush awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, to former CIA director boss George Tenet, retired Gen. Tommy Franks, and Paul Bremer, former administrator of the US-led occupation of Iraq.

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