USA

With central Florida digging out from the second-deadliest series of tornadoes in state history, Gov. Charlie Crist (R) canceled plans Sunday to attend the Super Bowl in Miami to monitor recovery operations. At least 20 people died when winds as strong at 165 m.p.h. descended on the area early Friday. The White House freed up millions of dollars of aid to residents by declaring Lake, Sumter, Seminole, and Volusia counties disaster areas.

President Bush Monday is expected to submit to Congress a nearly $3 trillion spending plan for the next budget year, which begins Oct. 1. The proposal calls for an 11 percent hike in defense spending and an average increase of 1 percent for domestic agencies such as Education, Energy, and Health and Human Services.

About a dozen states are expected to pass laws or adopt resolutions objecting to implementation of a national driver's license, the Associated Press reported Sunday. Proponents of the Real ID initiative say it's needed for national security; opponents raise concerns about privacy issues and its cost.

A major funding shift, to be proposed this week for Mississippi River levee repairs, could create a "turf war" between the East and West Bank areas of New Orleans, Louisiana state Sen. Derrick Shepherd told the Associated Press over the weekend. The Army Corps of Engineers reportedly wants to divert up to $1.3 billion from the East Bank, where most of New Orleans is situated, to the West Bank, which the corps considers highly vulnerable if a hurricane like Katrina should hit again.

Despite a 16.6 percent drop in sales in January, General Motors will continue efforts to reduce rebates and scale back low-profit sales to rental-car companies, a spokesman said Saturday at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas.

A Mississippi River cleanup crew will continue its efforts Monday near Vicksburg, Miss., after crude oil from a burning barge reached shore late last week. On Saturday, the Coast Guard reopened the river to traffic.

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