USA

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki agreed Monday to work together on sorting out the conflicting accounts of the alleged killing of eight Iraqi civilians in an incident involving Blackwater USA, a private security contractor. Iraq revoked Blackwater's working license, a move that could severely curtail the mobility of US diplomats outside Baghdad's fortified Green Zone. The company claims it was responding to a "hostile attack" by insurgents.

Mexican drug lord Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, who was captured last year by the US Coast Guard while deep-sea fishing, pleaded guilty in San Diego Monday of operating a powerful drug cartel in the 1980s. The plea came after outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales agreed not to pursue the death penalty. Arellano Felix's crimes carry a mandatory life sentence.

Before asking Congress for greater eavesdropping powers Tuesday, Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, said aggressive spying by China and Russia is approaching cold-war levels. He is seeking more authority to listen in on calls and e-mails by people outside the US.

The US Department of Education headquarters was renamed in honor of late President Lyndon B. Johnson. It is the first government building in Washington to bear the name of LBJ, a former schoolteacher who signed 60 education bills as president. Above, his daughters Linda Johnson Robb (l.) and Lucy Baines Johnson attended the ceremony and called it "one of the proudest days of our lives."

On average, Americans spent $5,283 per person on healthcare during the most recent year for which data are available (2004), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported in the journal Health Affairs.

In California, a federal judge threw out the state's lawsuit against the world's six largest automakers, ruling that legislators, not judges, must determine automaker responsibility for global warming problems.

In Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon professor Scott Fahlman (above) and his colleagues celebrated the 25th anniversary of Fahlman's "smiley face" keyboard icon by announcing the creation of a Smiley Award for student technology innovation. Fahlman used a colon, hyphen, and a parenthesis to insert a horizontal smiley face in a 1982 e-mail that spawned an electronic lexicon of "emoticons," simple typed icons that express sentiments.

Yale University ended months of negotiations by agreeing to return thousands of Inca artifacts to Peru and to partner with Peru in a tour and museum project to display the pieces excavated at Machu Picchu by a Yale professor in the early 1900s.

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