USA

The office of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that it was about to announce a settlement with a "significant" student loan business in an ongoing probe of corrupt loan practices. Investigators of alleged kickbacks have found numerous arrangements that benefitted schools, financial aid officers, and lenders at the expense of students at a growing number of colleges. Widener University and online Capella University, based in Minneapolis, are the latest schools to address possible wrongdoing.

North Carolina state prosecutors, according to the Associated Press, were ready Wednesday to drop all remaining charges against three Duke men's lacrosse players a year after they were accused of sexually assaulting a stripper at a team party. Prosecutors scheduled an unspecified announcement after Monitor deadlines.

New York City produces about as much pollution from greenhouse gas emissions as Ireland, or 1 percent of the US total, according to a municipal study released Tuesday. City planners are seeking ways to reduce the emissions 30 percent by 2030.

The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Democrat John Conyers, subpoenaed the Justice Department to provide hundreds of documents related to the firing of eight federal prosecutors that have been withheld or heavily blacked out. The department will have until Monday to produce more of the paper trail the committee says it needs before Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testifies about his role in the firings on Tuesday.

At least three retired four-star generals have turned down overtures rom the White House to assume a new post as overseer of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. According to the story, the war manager would report directly to the president and have the authority to issue directions to the Pentagon.

Evidence of water, in the form of vapor, has been found on a planet located 150 light years away from Earth, astronomer Travis Barman of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz., said Tuesday. The discovery, if confirmed, would mark the first time that water, which is thought to be fundamental to the existence of life, has been detected on a planet outside our solar system.

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