USA

In its continuing effort to ease credit stresses on banks, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday it has auctioned another$75 billion in loans. Commercial banks paid an interest rate of 2.360 percent for the 28-day loans, the 14th time such short-term loans have been offered since the program began in December.

As the Senate began taking testimony Tuesday in its first hearing on the origin of harsh interrogation methods, including the use of snarling dogs and forced nudity, Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said training specialists helped Pentagon lawyers devise a list of abusive tactics that could be used in prisons like Guantánamo Bay.

Last month's relocation of the nation's air and space defense command (NORAD) involved security problems understated by the Pentagon, according to classified material cited in a report by The Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colo. The homeland security center was moved from its longtime cave-complex home inside the Cheyenne Mountain on the southwest side of Colorado Springs to Peterson Air Force Base, which is adjacent to the city's civilian airport.

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The Mine Safety and Health Administration has hired 332 new inspectors and will use $10 million earmarked for overtime pay to ensure that every US coal mine is inspected, the agency said Monday. More than 100 mines went uninspected in 2006, when 47 miners were killed.

Former Vice President Al Gore, who had remained neutral during Democratic primary battles between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, pledged for the first time to support Obama's presidential candidacy during a huge rally in Detroit Monday. Above, Obama applauded Gore, who echoed the candidate's calls for change.

For the 14th straight year, Stanford University's athletic program captured the Directors' Cup awarded for overall excellence of a school's men's and women's sports program by the national athletic directors' organization. Stanford has so far recorded 12 top-five finishes in postseason championships, with its baseball team still alive in the College World Series.

In perhaps the grittiest performance of his golfing career, Tiger Woods secured his 14th major championship Monday, outdueling Rocco Mediate for the US Open crown at Torrey Pines in San Diego in an 18-hole playoff that went an extra hole. Woods hadn't played on the tour the past two months while recovering from knee surgery.

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