USA

In his first public comments on a brewing controversy involving top political adviser Karl Rove, President Bush said he'd be happy to comment on the matter after a federal investigation, begun long before the furor, is completed. Rove, who sat at Bush's side, was implicated earlier this week in a Newsweek magazine report that indicated he played a role in divulging the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Bernard Ebbers, who oversaw the $11 billion accounting fraud at WorldCom that wiped out billions of investor dollars, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The sentence was handed down in Manhattan Wednesday by district court Judge Barbara Jones, who showed no leniency based on Ebbers's health concerns or his record of charitable works.

Despite a storm of controversy over the treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, military investigators said only three interrogations violated the Geneva Conventions or Army regulations, or both. US senators reviewing the report said they wanted Army Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the former prison commander, reprimanded for failing to deal with one abusive incident.

As part of a major overhaul of the two-year-old Homeland Security Department, secretary Michael Chertoff was expected to announce the creation of two new posts: an intelligence director to centralize terrorism analyses and a chief medical officer to focus on bioterrorism.

Although the US trade deficit with China swelled 7.1 percent in May, the overall gap shrunk unexpectedly by 2.7 percent, the Commerce Department reported. An offsetting factor was greater trade balance with Japan, Canada, Britain, and France. The narrowed gap suggested stronger-than-expected economic growth.

With a 7-5 victory, the American League extended its dominance in baseball's annual All-Star Game Tuesday night and earned home-field advantage for the coming World Series. The win was the AL's eighth in the last nine years (the 2002 game ended in a controversial tie). Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, who drove in two runs, belted a tape-measure home run, and was named most valuable player of the game in Detroit.

US District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow, whose husband and mother were murdered by a disgruntled litigant in her Chicago home last February, presided over several civil cases Tuesday during her low-key return to the bench.

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