USA

Jurors in Houston's Enron Corp. trial found Kenneth Lay, the founder of the energy giant, and former Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling guilty of multiple counts of conspiracy and fraud on Thursday in one of the biggest corporate scandals in history. The two men are expected to receive decades-long sentences for their roles in lying and misleading investors and employees about the health of the company, which entered bankruptcy after its sudden 2001 collapse. Enron was once the the nation's seventh-largest company. Lay was also convicted on similar charges in a separate trial relating to his personal banking.

Mexican President Vicente Fox is scheduled to hold talks Friday with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) of California, who plans to say that he's prepared to commit National Guard troops to support patrol operations on the US-Mexico border, but opposes using them for law enforcement. Fox is completing a three-day Western swing that began in Utah and has focused on immigration issues and strengthening business ties. On Thursday, he met with corporate executives in Seattle.

Gross domestic product, a leading indicator of the nation's economic fitness, grew at a 5.3 percent pace during the first quarter of 2006, its fastest in 2-1/2 years, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Although this revised figure for the January-to-March period fell slightly short of forecasts, it was well above the feeble 1.7 percent growth rate that ended 2005.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's two-day visit to Washington ends Friday. Heading into Thursday night's joint White House press conference, spokesmen for both Blair and President Bush said their talks weren't likely to result in a "specific prediction" or "timetable" for troop withdrawals from Iraq. The US has 132,000 troops there, and Britain, 8,000.

A normally divided House has united in a constitutional turf war with the Justice Department, demanding the immediate return of a lawmaker's documents seized in an FBI raid. The demand was made jointly by House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R) and minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D), who objected to the FBI's invasion of the office of Rep. William Jefferson (D) of Louisiana, although it was carried out with a search warrant. The two leaders want the papers returned but also called for Jefferson's cooperation in a bribery probe. Meanwhile, the Justice Department denied an ABC News report that Hastert is under investigation by the FBI in a separate corruption probe.

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