USA

Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R) of Tennessee announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Wednesday. Thompson's late entrance into the race elicited criticism from the eight other Republican candidates who were participating in a televised debate in New Hampshire that day.

An independent commission created by Congress formally reported Thursday that it will take at least 12 to 18 months before Iraq's police and Army can manage the country's security. While the Iraqi armed forces have seen progress, they are still suffering from "limited operational effectiveness," according to the report.

A B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear warheads and flown for more than three hours across several states last week, Pentagon officials revealed Wednesday. The incident has prompted an Air Force investigation into the safety breach and the firing of one commander.

Twenty NFL veteran players started the new football season Thursday as freshly minted college graduates, having used the off-season to complete their studies through the league's Continuing Education Program, which aims to assist players in their lives off the fields.

Rep. Paul Gillmor (R) of Ohio died of an unknown cause Wednesday – a day that also marked the death of former Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R) of Washington. Gillmor had served in Congress since 1988, and Dunn was once the highest-ranking Republican woman in the US House.

The California heat wave that officials say claimed at least 25 lives in a week of 100-plus-degree weather began to subside Wednesday, as temperatures dropped about 20 degrees.

With a 76 percent jump, the suicide rate among American preteen and teenage girls rose to its highest levels in a decade, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Thursday. The CDC, which also reported an increase in suicides among boys of the same age, is advising federal heath officials to consider focusing suicide prevention programs on girls ages 10 to 19 and boys 15 to 19 to reverse the trends.

Scientists have identified the Israeli acute paralysis virus as the potential culprit in the colony collapse of billions of honeybees an insect crucial to the pollination of crops. Scientists will test the theory on a control group of honeybees.

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