USA

President Bush signed emergency declarations Sunday that would send federal aid to Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas, where blizzards have shut down roads and left tens of thousands of homes without power.

Scientists reported Sunday that they found stem cells in amniotic fluid, a discovery that could help sidestep the controversy of destroying embryos for stem-cell research. The researchers, from Wake Forest and Harvard Universities, do not yet know how many cell types can be made from these stem cells.

Apple Computer Inc., maker of the iPod, is expected to introduce at least one revolutionary product Tuesday at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. Analysts are predicting a cellphone or a set-top box that allows people to send videos from computer to television.

New Orleans residents intend to march on City Hall Thursday to protest a crime wave that saw eight people killed within the first week of 2007. About 300 people gathered Sunday to plan the event. Many said Police Superintendent Warren Riley should resign, and rejected his proposal for a citywide curfew.

Wal-Mart began airing national ads Monday to counter longtime criticism that it gives workers insufficient pay and health insurance and hurts small businesses. Commercials for the world's largest retailer – and America's largest private employer – will celebrate its small-town origins and employees' healthcare programs. Wal-Mart argues that its low prices save working families $2,300 a year.

A terrorism scare turned out to be a misunderstanding Sunday at the Port of Miami when a Middle Eastern truck driver did not have proper paperwork to enter. Officials became more suspicious when they found two Middle Eastern men in the back of the vehicle after they thought the driver had indicated he was alone. Nothing harmful was found in the truck. The men were permanent US residents, and none appeared on any terrorist watch list. Police attributed the incident in part to language problems.

An experimental website used to monitor the Mexican border in Texas last November helped authorities catch 10 illegal immigrants, according to a state report published Sunday in The El Paso Times. It was intended to see if the governor's proposed $5 million online camera program was technologically feasible. Critics said the trial – which used 8 to 12 cameras and cost $200,000 – seemed inefficient.

Police closed off roads and access to buildings in ten blocks of downtown Austin, Texas, Monday morning, after dozens of birds were found dead. Though no human harm had been reported, experts began tests to identify the cause.

The National Transportation Safety Board continued investigating how a subway train in Washington, D.C., derailed Sunday. Twenty of the 150 passengers were sent to the hospital after one train car left the track and hit the tunnel wall.

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