USA

The design and construction of the World Trade Center towers were not major contributors to their collapse during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to research federal investigators were scheduled to share Tuesday in New York. The findings are the last before the National Institute of Standards and Technology issues its final recommendations in June. While the two collapses differed, they generally resulted from the way in which the hijacked planes stripped away fireproofing on impact, dislodged key columns, and ignited tons of office materials, the findings indicated.

Despite admiration for the late Pope John Paul II, many American Catholics hope his successor will be more open to far-reaching institutional changes, responses to an Associated Press-Ipsos survey indicated. Sixty-three percent said they favor a larger role for lay people; 60 percent said priests should be allowed to marry; and 60 percent said women should be allowed into the priesthood.

Responding to a deadline for a controversial tax amnesty program, the California treasury received at least $2.3 billion in delinquent tax payments over the weekend, a figure that could grow to $3 billion and help close the state's budget shortfall, The Los Angeles Times reported. Although many corporations and individuals accused of owing taxes paid up before tough new penalties began April 1, some are mounting court challenges to disputed taxes, so some state officials question whether pressure on lawmakers to raise taxes will be alleviated.

The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times each won two Pulitzer Prizes as the most prestigious awards for journalism were announced at Columbia University in New York Monday. The Associated Press was honored for photography for the 29th time, based on its coverage of combat in Iraq.

Officials in New Jersey were awaiting word on whether their state would be declared a federal disaster area because of severe flooding. No deaths or serious injuries were reported, although thousands of residents were forced to evacuate their homes after weekend rains raised water levels that were already high because of earlier precipitation and snowmelt. In New York, the flooding was blamed for at least one death, and two people were missing.

The North Carolina Tar Heels edged Illinois 75-70 Monday night to win NCAA men's basketball championship. The national title was the fourth for the school, but the first for coach Roy Williams, a North Carolina alumnus.

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