USA

The FBI and IRS searched the home of Sen. Ted Stevens (R) of Alaska as part of an investigation into his alleged connections with the managers of VICO Corp., an oil-services company, officials said Monday. Company executives have admitted paying $400,000 to Alaskan lawmakers. Stevens is the longest-serving Republican in US Senate history, who joined the legislative body in 1968.

Chief Justice John Roberts underwent a thorough medical evaluation Monday after he fell and was diagnosed as having a "benign" seizure while vacationing in Maine, according to a Supreme Court spokeswoman. He was to be released from the hospital Tuesday and there is no indication that this will affect his service in the court.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and Dow Jones have edged closer to a decision on the sale of The Wall Street Journal. Both companies' boards were expected to meet Tuesday, after press time, to discuss whether Dow Jones will accept a $5 billion offer.

The House passed a resolution Monday urging Japan to apologize for enslaving thousands of Korean, Filipino, and Chinese women in its World War II military brothels. While Japan's government issued a carefully worded apology in 1993, it was never approved by parliament.

Johnson & Johnson, the giant healthcare company based in New Brunswick, N.J., said Tuesday that it plans to lay off up to 4 percent of its global workforce of 121,000 employees over the next few years. The downsizing is aimed at cutting the annual costs by up to $1.6 billion as a number of company patents expire.

Less than a week after Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick pleaded not guilty with other men to running a dog-fighting business, codefendant Charles Taylor changed his plea to guilty Monday. The reversal and his promise to cooperate with prosecutors could lead to a lesser sentence.

Hall of Fame football coach Bill Walsh, who died Monday in Woodside, Calif., was best known for devising innovative offensive strategies that helped turn the once-lackluster San Francisco 49ers into pro football's most successful team in the 1980s, when he guided them to three Super Bowl wins. He was the NFL's Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1984 and produced a legion of coaching disciples.

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