USA

Ten people died when a wave of tornadoes swept the Midwest on Monday. The mayor of Springfield, Ill., said "every square inch" of his town suffered from the disaster, which destroyed power lines and roofs, and uprooted trees.

Without fanfare, construction began Monday on the World Trade Center memorial, even as a group of relatives of 9/11 victims continued a legal push to end the project. The Coalition of 9/11 Families says the "Reflecting Absence" design will dishonor victims by placing their names below street level on the sides of two 70-foot-deep glass reflecting pools.

Wall Street analysts had a lukewarm response on Monday to announcements of a large newspaper publishing acquisition deal. McClatchy Co. said it would purchase Knight-Ridder Inc. for $4.5 billion in cash. The combined company will have the second-largest daily circulation among US newspaper outlets. Knight-Ridder's disappointingly low share price is indicative of a slowdown in newspaper sales.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association probably surprised very few basketball fans on Sunday when it chose Duke, Connecticut, Villanova, and Memphis as top-seeded tournament teams. Most of the bracket buzz focused on the Big East Conference's record eight bids and the absence of large programs like Michigan, Cincinnati, and Maryland.

The fairness of the sentencing trial for confessed Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui was called into question Monday, with revelations that federal prosecutors had coached several witnesses. US District Judge Leonie Brinkema called a surprise recess to decide whether the death penalty should still be considered in a case now jeopardized by what she called the most "egregious violation of a rule on witnesses" she had ever seen.

Korean carmaker Kia Motors Corp. announced on Monday plans to build its first manufacturing plant in the US. The West Point, Ga., factory is expected to generate about 2,500 jobs after its opening, expected in 2009. The $1.2 billion investment will let Kia produce about 300,000 vehicles a year.

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