USA news in brief

Compiled from wire reports by Monitor staff

The US is preparing to sell Saudi Arabia and other friendly Gulf states $20 billion worth of arms over the next 10 years, various media sources reported, citing information from an unnamed senior US Defense official. In the fall, Congress will consider the proposal, which the source called "part of a continual, deliberate program" and not an effort to arm the Middle East. Other allies that stand to benefit are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Virginia Tech students wounded in the April 16 on-campus shooting massacre met with Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) Saturday. "Some have made significant progress, but some have a long way to go," Kaine said. Earlier, Kenneth Feinberg, a lawyer representing the school, met with relatives of the 32 people killed by the gunman. Feinberg said the relatives feel the school "should do more financially and spiritually" to support them.

Northwest Airlines said it has begun to recall furloughed pilots after the carrier canceled nearly 300 flights in two days, according to website FlightStats.com. Union pilots said the airline doesn't have sufficient pilots to fly a full schedule, but the company says absenteeism is the issue.

Residents of Middleborough, Mass., voted Saturday to accept a deal with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe to let them build a $1 billion casino. About two-thirds of voters favored the deal that would pay Middleborough $11 million a year if casino gambling is legalized in the state.

A tentative deal to protect bison in the nation's largest herd was announced by Montana officials, who said a limited number of bison would be allowed to roam outside Yellowstone National Park without being slaughtered. The agreement would permit bison to graze on private land, while recognizing rancher concerns that the bison may spread disease to their cattle.

A week-long spat between the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton continued Saturday, with Clinton backers accusing Obama of waffling on a foreign policy point raised in the latest Democratic debate. Obama said holding such meetings would hinge on "certain conditions," a qualification the Clinton camp claims is new.

Phoenix police said Saturday that a man whom patrol cars chased may be held responsible for a crash of two news helicopters that collided over the scene Friday, killing all four people aboard.

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