USA

Army Reserve Pfc. Lynndie England, the clerk at the center of Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison scandal, is expected to plead guilty Monday of abusing Iraqi detainees. England, who was photographed holding a hooded prisoner on a leash, agreed late last week to a plea deal in which she will admit in a Fort Hood, Texas, military court to seven of nine counts in exchange for reducing her maximum sentence from 16 to 11 years. The compromise must still be accepted by a military judge. A panel of soldiers will determine her punishment for conspiracy, maltreating prisoners, and dereliction of duty.

Credible terror threats within the US have dropped on average 25 to 50 percent over the past two years, The Washington Post reported, citing intelligence officials as well as federal and state law-enforcement authorities. Experts believe Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are focusing their efforts on attacking Americans in Iraq and Europe, believing that they can more easily avoid detection there.

Tougher regulation on diesel truck emissions went into effect over the weekend in California after a state court ruled that they are constitutional. The rules, which apply to 58,000 in-state trucks and as many as 400,000 out-of-state vehicles, call for removing smog-defeat devices that allow trucks to meet pollution-control requirements when inspected but not when traveling at highway speeds.

Participants in the controversial Minuteman Project ended their month-long watch along Arizona's border with Mexico over the weekend. The citizen volunteers claimed their calls helped the Border Patrol arrest 335 illegal immigrants. Critics, including Border Patrol officials, have cast the group as a nuisance.

US Rep. Tom Osborne (R) of Nebraska, the former University of Nebraska f ootball coach who never has received less than 82 percent of the vote in being elected to three terms, said he plans to seek the GOP nomination for governor next year.

Bride-to-be Jennifer Wilbanks, who grew anxious about her impending wedding in Duluth, Ga., last week and was missing for four days, was found Friday by police in Albuquerque, N.M., and flown home Saturday. On her bus trip, she called her fiancé and police, claiming she'd been kidnapped, only to admit later that she fabricated the story. Police said there would be no criminal charges, despite a massive search. Wilbanks said the wedding is "postponed."

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