USA

In an apology to readers this week, Newsweek acknowledged errors in a story alleging US interrogators at Guantánamo Bay desecrated the Koran. The accusations, which the magazine vowed to reexamine, spawned protests in Afghanistan that left 15 dead and scores injured. "We regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the US soldiers caught in its midst," editor Mark Whitaker wrote in the apology. Newsweek reported that US military investigators had found evidence that interrogators placed copies of Islam's holy book in washrooms and had flushed one down the toilet to get inmates to talk.

Authorities in Los Angeles said Sunday they will begin tracking inmates in the nation's largest jail system using new radio-linked wristbands to pinpoint their location to within a few feet. Los Angeles County plans to tag about 1,900 inmates in a detention center about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Removing or breaking the bracelet sets off a computer alarm, alerting guards to a possible prison escape. The technology also has potential for monitoring work-release crews.

According to a report released Monday by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs investigations subcommittee, Russian leaders received millions of dollars in Iraqi oil allocations from top representatives in Saddam Hussein's former government in hopes of ending UN penalties against Iraq. The Senate investigators said their interviews and documents from the former Iraqi government add to evidence in previous probes linking Russian officials to abuses in the $64 billion UN program.

People who ride in pickup trucks lag behind people in passenger cars in using seat belts, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday. The agency says more than 80 percent of the people in passenger cars buckled up in 2003, compared to 70 percent of those in pickup trucks. The numbers were starker in terms of fatalities: 70 percent of those killed in pickup truck crashes in 2003 did not wear safety belts, compared to 50 percent of the fatalities in cars.

President Bush paid tribute on Sunday to 156 law-enforcement officers killed last year while performing their duties. The names of the officers were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington that was dedicated in 1991.

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