USA

US military officials says the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha in November appear to be the result of an unprovoked attack by US marines, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development approved Louisiana's $8 billion "Road Home" hurricane-recovery strategy, but the plan still awaits congressional funding of half that amount. The plan would provide repair and rebuilding grants to about 123,000 homeowners, each for as much as $150,000. In other area news:

• Developers in New Orleans announced a $715 million revitalization project that calls for creating a National Jazz Center and park.

• The journal Nature says parts of the city are sinking more rapidly than once believed.

After two weeks, the FBI called off a search at a Detroit-area farm for the remains of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. The farm was said to be a mob meeting place before Hoffa's unsolved disappearance in 1975. The agency said it will continue to pursue any leads.

Using intelligence and law enforcement data, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans Wednesday to distribute $740 million to 46 cities considered the most likely targets of terrorists. Memphis, Tenn., and Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., are new to 2006 list.

Dutch investigators appointed by the International Cycling

Federation cleared Texan Lance Armstrong of doping in the 1999 Tour de France, the first of the seven straight tours he won. The panel also accused antidoping authorities of misconduct in dealing with Armstrong.

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