USA

People in Oswego County, N.Y., began digging out Monday fromunder an estimated 11-plus feet of snow dumped along the eastern Lake Ontario region during nine straight days of lake-effect squalls. If the National Weather Service is able to confirm this depth, the snowfall would be a new state record. Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) has declared a disaster emergency in the county, which could receive another six to 12 inches of snow midweek.

More than 200 negotiators from the US and South Korea began the latest round in long-running trade talks in Washington Monday. Assistant US Trade Representative Wendy Cutler said an agreement over cutting tariffs and trade barriers is unlikely by Wednesday, when current talks will end. The two countries already do $72 billion a year in trade, but are looking to craft a pact similar to the North American Free Trade Agreement, passed in 1993.

In Austin, Texas, about 1,000 protesters rallied Sunday at the Capitol to oppose plans to build 18 new coal-fired power plants. The demonstrators expressed concerns about pollution from the facilities, which Gov. Rick Perry (R) wants legislators to approve quickly to meet the state's growing demand for electricty.

Americans surveyed about the new presidential dollar coins, which go into circulation Thursday, are split evenly on the idea of having both dollar bills and dollar coins, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Monday. Three-fourths of people surveyed opposed using just coins.

Intel Corp. said Sunday it is

developing a computer chip that can perform about 1 trillion calculations per second while consuming as much electricity as a small light bulb. The chip is still in the research phase and might need adapting for high- demand applications.

As a way to get oil companies to help pay for Wisconsin'stransportation needs, Gov. Jim Doyle (D) said he will propose taxing them about $1.50 per barrel sold in the state as part of a budget he delivers Tuesday to the Legislature. The companies would be prohibited from passing the tax on to consumers.

The Dixie Chicks went home the big winners from Sunday night'sGrammy Awards in Los Angeles, winning all five music awards for which they were nominated. The country artists thus capped a comeback from a career-threatening political controversy in 2003, when their popularity fell after singer Natalie Maines publicly criticized President Bush, a fellow Texan. The group became the first country act to win overall album of the year since Glen Campbell in 1969.

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