USA

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas meets with President Bush Thursday, the highlight of a tightly packed three-day US trip in which his schedule includes visits with lawmakers, Jewish and Arab-American leaders, and senior government officials. Meetings with Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Rice topped his Wednesday agenda. Abbas has said he comes seeking economic support and intensified US pressure on Israel to return to the negotiating table.

In defiance of a presidential veto threat, senators who support embryonic stem-cell research are pushing for a quick vote on a bill passed by the House that would lift restrictions on such studies. No debate has been scheduled on the Senate bill, which is identical to version approved 238-to-194 by the House and that President Bush called "a mistake." Proponents say federal funding for the research on days-old embryos, using a process that destroys them, would accelerate the search for treatments and perhaps cures for diseases. Opponents dispute that potential and say taxpayers should not be forced to finance science they see as an attack on unborn babies and Bush's "culture of life."

Children adopted from abroad are only slightly more likely than nonadopted children to have behavioral challenges, according to a new study released Wednesday in Chicago that analyzes more than 50 years of international data. The results, compiled by Dutch researchers Femmie Juffer and Marinus van IJzendoorn, are generally reassuring for international adoption - a growing trend involving more than 40,000 children a year moving among more than 100 countries, the researchers said.

US security officials are expected to permit private planes to operate at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport for the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, government sources told Reuters late Tuesday. The Transportation Security Administration was expected to announce the new policy for limited operations of small planes this week. The Virginia airport is located in the shadow of the Pentagon and in proximity to Washington landmarks. Restrictions on private planes are expected to be heavy.

The US Mint is unveiling a new silver dollar to honor the 230th anniversary of the founding of the Marine Corps - the first time the government has struck a commemorative coin to salute a branch of the military.

Runaway bride Jennifer Wil-banks was indicted Wednesday in Lawrenceville, Ga., on charges that she lied to police about being kidnapped. She faces two counts that could mean up to six years in prison. Wilbanks disappeared from her Duluth, Ga., home April 26, days before her planned wedding, after claiming she was going for a run.

NASA's Voyager 1 has reached the final frontier of our solar system, having traveled through an electrically charged area 8.7 billion miles from the sun, astronomers tracking the little spaceship's 26-year journey said Tuesday.

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