USA

President Bush said he would like to see US troops play a long-term security role in Iraq, much as they've done in South Korea over the past 50 years, White House spokesman Tony Snow said Wednesday. The model, Snow said, calls for providing a "security presence" while "handing primary responsibility to the Iraqis."

Bush will use his parents' summer home to host Russian President Vladimir Putin July 1 and 2 in Kennebunkport, Maine, the White House announced Wednesday. The meeting may be used to address mounting tensions over US plans for a missile shield in Europe and US concerns that Moscow is backtracking on human rights.

Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R) of Tennessee, an actor on TV's "Law and Order" series, is expected to take his first formal step toward a possible run for president next week, sources familiar with his plans told the Associated Press Wednesday. Thompson will form a committee that will allow him to raise money and hire campaign staffers, the AP said.

Responding to a downturn in sales of new homes, Pulte Homes, one of the nation's leading home builders, said Tuesday it will trim its workforce 16 percent, or by 1,900 jobs.

Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton said Tuesday that crowd-control efforts during a May Day immigration rally "broke down." Although no one was seriously hurt, dozens of complaints were filed about police efforts to disperse a mostly peaceful crowd by using batons and rubber bullets.

In the first government-ordered quarantine since 1963, an unidentified man diagnosed with a dangerous form of tuberculosis was confined to an Atlanta hospital Tuesday after a transatlantic trip to get married in Greece. The man, who was advised not to travel, said he believed he needed to return to US for treatment. Health officials said people near him on the planes were being contacted for precautionary tests.

By early Tuesday morning, two whales that swam well inland on California's Sacramento River were reported heading in the right direction about 10 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge. A convoy of boats was escorting the mother humpback and her calf in an attempt to protect them from ship traffic.

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