USA

President Bush spent the weekend working on his State of the Union address at Camp David, Md., where he was joined by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, and Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten. The speech, to be given Tuesday night, is expected to strike a conciliatory tone with the first Democratic Congress in 12 years.

In his weekly Saturday radio address, Bush proposed tax breaks, similar to mortgage deductions, that would make health insurance more affordable for the estimated 47 million Americans who lack it. Such deductions would help workers not insured through employer plans.

Former President Carter said Saturday that although he's concerned about being called an anti-Semite and bigot by critics of his recent book, the accusations "don't detract from the fact that the book is accurate and needed." Carter made the comment about "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which some consider unfairly critical of Israel, at a symposium on his presidency at the University of Georgia. Tuesday, Carter is to speak about the book in Wal-tham, Mass., at Brandeis University, which is largely Jewish.

Heavy snow warnings were in effect Sunday in parts of the Midwest a day after hazardous driving conditions caused numerous accidents that led to at least eight fatalities in three states.

Mike Nifong, the Durham, N.C., district attorney who brought rape charges against three Duke University lacrosse players last year, has hired a law team well known for defending lawyers accused of misconduct, reports said Saturday. Nifong ultimately dropped the rape charges in favor of sexual offense charges and removed himself from the case, but the state bar claims he made inflammatory and misleading statements to the media early in the case.

As part of its effort to rebuild New Orleans, the federal government is working on a plan to encourage 100 of the country's top companies to bring 100 jobs each to the city, the Associated Press reported. The government has devoted $100 billion to posthurricane efforts in the region so far.

Shawn Hornbeck, the Missouri boy who was allegedly held captive by a kidnapper for four years, spoke with police to report his bike had been stolen two years ago, but gave no clue he was a missing child, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Saturday. Hornbeck and 13-year-old Ben Ownby, who'd only been missing four days, were discovered Jan. 12, living at the residence of the same suspect.

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