The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that individual retirement accounts must be protected from creditors in bankruptcy cases, just as pensions, 401(k)s, Social Security, and other benefits linked to age, illness, or disability are. The decision came in a case brought by a bankrupt Arkansas couple who transferred $55,000 in a company-sponsored pension and 401(k) plans into an IRA fund before encountering employment problems. The court cited the substantial tax penalties for withdrawals before age 60 as a factor in the ruling. For most investors, annual contributions to tax-free IRA accounts are capped at $4,000. In another case, the justices let stand a lower court ruling that federal labor laws allow the National Football League to set rules for when players can enter the league. Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett had challenged the rule that requires a player to be at least out of high school for three years before he can be drafted.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, whose election in the former Soviet republic has been praised by President Bush as part of a democratic revolution, was to meet Bush at the White House as part of a three-day US visit. The two met earlier this year at a NATO meeting in Belgium. On the agenda this time, the White House said, were the spread of democracy in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and curbing the international weapons trade.
Saying he never used steroids "or anything like that," Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder Alex Sanchez vowed to fight a 10-game suspension imposed by Major League Baseball for violating its month-old policy prohibiting so-called performance-enhancing drugs. The Cuban- born Sanchez, who hit only one home run with the Detroit Tigers last season, is the first player publicly identified under the new, tougher rules.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith of Tampa, Fla., was to posthumously receive the Medal of Honor from Bush Monday, marking only the third time the nation's highest award for valor has been given since the Vietnam War - and the first time since the Iraq war began. Smith, a veteran of the first Gulf War, is credited with protecting the lives of scores of members of his under-siege engineering platoon as they approached Baghdad in 2003.
Before beginning regular patrols Monday, volunteers of the Minuteman Project, an effort by citizens to shore up government border watches, helped federal agents make 18 arrests near Naco, Ariz. The project is focused on the San Pedro Valley, a prime area for illegal crossings.