USA

Harriet Miers, whose nomination for the Supreme Court had struck sparks across the political spectrum, abruptly withdrew from consideration for the post Thursday. Miers, who serves as White House counsel, said the Senate confirmation process "presents a burden for the White House and our staff." Members of Congress have continued to press for the Bush administration to release internal documents about her service to the president, but he has vowed to keep them off-limits. Some Republicans have questioned whether Miers is sufficiently conservative, while some Demo-crats have expressed doubts about where she stands on the issue of abortion. Bush said he would name a replacement quickly.

Responding to mounting dissatisfaction with the pace of relief efforts following hurricane Wilma, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Wednesday that an "air bridge" of cargo planes would go into action overnight to deliver needed supplies to south Florida. Before Bush flew off to survey the area Thursday, his brother, Gov. Jeb Bush (R), accepted responsibility for delays in meeting the needs of Floridians affected by the storm.

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald appears ready to announce his decision Friday on whether - and against whom - to bring criminal charges in the case of CIA analyst Valerie Plame's leaked identity. Fitzgerald's grand jury, which has been hearing the case, is due to meet Friday for the final time.

A civil-trial jury found the New York Port Authority negligent Wednesday in the 1993 terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center, which resulted in six deaths and 1,000 injuries. Jurors said they were swayed by a 1985 report by the authority's own security staff that warned its underground parking garage was a likely site for an attack. Terrorists detonated a rental van packed with explosives in the garage.

Roughly a half-million people who lost jobs as the result of Gulf Coast hurricanes Katrina and Rita have filed unemployment claims during the past eight weeks, the Labor Department reported.

A year after the Boston Red Sox ended an 86-year drought as World Series champions, the Chicago White Sox of the American League won their first title in 88 years Wednesday night by ousting the National League's Houston Astros. For the second year in a row, the series lasted four games.

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