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By Compiled from wire service reports by Ross Atkin / May 19, 2006



The US proposed a global treaty Thursday that would ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosives. The UN-backed draft was submitted to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. The forum is meeting in special session because of mounting international concerns about nuclear programs in Iran and Korea.

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The House narrowly passed a nonbinding $2.8 trillion budget blueprint Thursday that sets broad parameters for upcoming tax and spending bills. Although modest increases in education and social-service funding were incorporated in order to pass the plan, the House and Senate remain far apart in finding a mutually agreeable budget.

Acting on a recent tip, the FBI searched a farm 35 miles northwest of Detroit Wednesday looking for clues in the 1975 disappearance of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa, who was known to have organized-crime connections. Hoffa was last seen at a restaurant in the area.

Flat early trading on Wall Street Thursday made it unclear if a recovery might be under way after Wednesday's steep sell-off, in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 214 points. The slide occurred amid concerns about rising inflation.

Executives of the Big Three US automakers held a series of closed-door meetings Thursday with Capitol Hill lawmakers. Industry officials said the talks focused on trade issues, rising employee healthcare costs, and the development of ethanol-fuel infrastructure and alternative-fuel vehicles.

In a crackdown on hazing, Northwestern University placed its entire men's swimming team on disciplinary probation Wednesday just days after suspending its women's soccer team over similar allegations.

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