USA

President Bush defended his nomination of White House counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court in a news conference Tuesday, his first since May. Although some conservative supporters have voiced concerns about naming someone with no judicial track record on major issues, Bush said Miers is "one of them" and that her judicial philosophy is "not going to change." He added that no candidate was asked to pass a "litmus test" by giving a position on the abortion issue. On other matters, the president said he'd work with Congress to make "real cuts" in nonsecurity spending to rebuild the Gulf Coast. He also expressed confidence that "more and more Iraqis" are capable of fighting the enemy.

A Texas grand jury looking into alleged violations of campaign finance laws handed up a second indictment against US Rep. Tom DeLay (R) in less than a week. Observers believe the new charges are a response to a request by DeLay's lawyers that the first indictment be dismissed because the law in question wasn't passed until after the act he's accused of committing.

The door-to-door search for the remains of hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana ended, with officials putting the death count at 964. At least 140 of them were elderly patients, prompting the state to place six hospitals and 13 nursing homes under investigation for possibly mishandled evacuations and abandonment.

Roy Moore, who was ousted as Alabama's chief justice because of his refusal to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building, announced he'll run for governor next year as a Republican. His candidacy could set up a showdown with incumbent Bob Riley, who is also a Republican.

Despite one of its poorest recruiting seasons since the introduction of the all-volunteer military in 1973, Army Secretary Francis Harvey said there is no crisis and that measures are planned to address the situation. More recruiters will be added, advertising will increase, and greater financial incentives will be offered, he said. The Army ended up 7,000 recruits short of its goal of 80,000 in the just-completed fiscal year.

The 2005 Nobel Prize for physics was awarded Tuesday to researchers John Hall of the University of Colorado and Roy Glauber of Harvard University, along with German Theodor Haensch. They will share the $1.3 million prize for separate but similar work in improving the optical accuracy of laser and Global Positioning System technology.

New York, which operates the largest public school system in the US, ended a nearly yearlong impasse and reached a tentative new contract with United Federation of Teachers Union. The agreement, which still must by ratified, calls for 15 percent raises over four years.

All 30 National Hockey League teams return to the ice Wednesday night after a labor dispute - finally resolved when its players accepted a salary cap - wiped out the entire 2004-05 season.

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