USA

US commanders in Iraq will determine the timing and pace of troop withdrawals, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." The remark came on the heels of a 403-to-3 House vote to reject a GOP-written resolution calling for the immediate pullout of US troops from Iraq. Democrats accused Republicans of trying to embarrass them in bringing the resolution to a quick vote before the Thanksgiving recess. Even Rep. John Murtha (D) of Pennsylvania, who suggested the pullout, did not vote for the measure, saying it wasn't the thoughtful approach he had envisioned. About 160,000 US troops are in Iraq.

An aide to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she was not the administration official who leaked the name of CIA analyst Valerie Plame to the Washington Post's Bob Woodward. The outing of Plame, the wife of White House critic Joseph Wilson, is the subject of an ongoing investigation in which I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, has been indicted.

Tropical storm Gamma, the 24th storm of the busiest hurricane season on record, is expected to approach the Florida Keys Monday but not to pose a significant threat, forecasters said. Wind speeds of 50 to 55 m.p.h. are anticipated. The storm is blamed for 12 deaths in Central America.

Muhammad Ali was saluted Saturday night in his hometown, Louisville, Ky., as part of the festivities surrounding the opening of a six-story Muhammad Ali Center, which pays tribute to his boxing career and ideals.

The presence of almost 200 police officers served to keep the peace at a rally organized by a white supremacist radio talk-show host Saturday in Kingston, N.Y. Police outnumbered 50 demonstrators and 100 counter- demonstrators who turned out after Hal Turner invited the Ku Klux Klan and similar groups to help protest recent attacks on white students by blacks at Kingston High School. The attacks, police said, were not racially motivated.

Michael Sessions, an 18-year-old high school senior, is scheduled to be sworn in Monday as mayor of Hillsdale, Mich., after the incumbent, Doug Ingles, withdrew his request for a recount of an election that he lost, 670 to 668.

The new Georgia Aquarium, with 120,000 fish and the largest single tank in the world, will open to pass holders Monday in Atlanta.

Firefighters battling a 3,700-acre blaze in the hills above Ventura, Calif., hope to have it fully surrounded by Tuesday, they said, after ocean breezes helped in containing it Saturday.

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