USA

A sealed indictment charging three men with plotting terrorist attacks on American financial institutions was expected to be unsealed Tuesday. The men, unidentified as the Monitor went to press, were picked up last year in a separate investigation and are in custody in England. British authorities discovered the suspects allegedly were scouting the New York Stock Exchange and Citicorp Building in New York, the Prudential insurance company headquarters in Newark, N.J., and the International Monetary Fund in Washington.

John Negroponte, President Bush's choice as the first director of all US intelligence activities, told senators at his confirmation hearing that reforming the various spy agencies will be a central focus of his new job. Negroponte served as ambassador to the UN during the run-up to the Iraq war and later as ambassador to Iraq at a time when terrorism there was at a peak. Meanwhile, on the second day of contentious hearings to review John Bolton's qualifications to assume the UN post Negroponte once held, Bolton vigorously rejected assertions by Democrats that he tried to fire State Department officials who had challenged his intelligence assessments.

Bush was scheduled to meet privately Tuesday at Fort Hood, Texas, with families of about 30 soldiers killed in Iraq. According to a White House spokes-man, Bush also intended to review progress made in Iraq but wasn't ready to discuss the withdrawal of 140,000 troops. On Monday, at the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch, he met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. While in agreement on Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip this summer, the two differed on Israeli policy in the West Bank, where Bush opposes settlement expansions.

For the first time since a shooting rampage at Red Lake (Minn.) High School three weeks ago, classes were back in session. Principal Chris Dunshee said he anticipated about 50 percent attendance for classes, which were being held under tight security. On Monday, two students wounded in the attack led the return by attending an Indian healing ceremony at the reservation school.

Martha Stewart's attempt to have the terms of her five-month house arrest relaxed were rejected Monday by a federal judge in New York. The homemaking maven already has served five months in prison for lying to the government about a stock sale. She began the house-arrest portion of her sentence in early March.

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