USA

A major survey of Muslim American attitudes shows US Muslims are largely happy with their lives and communities and willing to adopt American customs, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press revealed Tuesday. Only 5 percent expressed favorable views of the terrorist group Al Qaeda, and 13 percent, mostly under age 30, said suicide bombings to defend Islam may be justified in rare cases.

As a new round of high-level economic talks between US and Chinese officials began in Washington Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said that "there is growing skepticism in each country about the other's intentions." The talks are aimed at addressing tensions over growing trade and financial imbalances.

"A remarkable discovery" is how a leading Mars scientist described the strongest evidence yet of ancient water found on the red planet by the rover Spirit. At a Monday news conference, scientists said the robot had unearthed a patch of crater soil rich in silica, which suggests the presence of water and possibly conditions needed to support primitive life.

President Bush reiterated Monday his support for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, calling Democratic plans for a no-confidence vote in Gonzales's leadership of the Justice Department "pure political theater."

Testing of hand-held scanners for detecting bottled, carry-on liquid explosives has begun or been completed at six major airports, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday. The equipment will be deployed more broadly by October.

Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech gunman who killed 27 students and five faculty members on April 16 before committing suicide, was "well prepared" to continue his shooting spree with 200 additional rounds, state police said Monday.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Monday that he will probably wait until Nov. 6, a year before the 2008 presidential election, to announce whether he will run.

The US Department of Justice sued the city of New York Monday, charging that a written test administered to prospective firefighters discriminated against blacks and Hispanics, Newsday reported.

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