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USA

March 18, 2009



European nations are willing to help the US close the Guantánamo prison in Cuba, if needed, a European Union delegation to Washington said Monday. The officials presented US Attorney General Eric Holder with a detailed list of questions in consideration of whether to take custody of some detainees when the controversial facility is shut down within a year.

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After studying the path of orbiting space debris, NASA gave the all clear signal Monday to the crews of the Discovery space shuttle and the International Space Station, which were to dock late Tuesday afternoon. Experts determined that an old, broken-up Soviet satellite was far enough away to pose no threat of collision, which could have necessitated a flight adjustment. Station residents were alerted to a similar sighting last week.

Sara Jane Olson, a former Symbionese Liberation Army radical, was scheduled to be released Tuesday from a women's prison in Chowchilla, Calif., after serving seven years. As a fugitive, she had long assumed the identity of a Minnesota housewife until her past resurfaced in 1999 and she pleaded guilty to participating in a deadly robbery and placing pipe bombs under police cars in California.

A new Army fitness program will focus on dealing with the mental stresses of war, Gen. George Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff, said Monday at Fort Campbell, Ky., where eight soldiers have committed suicide since the start of the year.

Dan Rooney, owner of pro football's Pittsburgh Steelers, is President Obama's pick to be US ambassador to Ireland, the White House said Tuesday. Although a lifelong Republican, Rooney campaigned for Obama.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended her choice Monday of Christopher Hill for US ambassador to Iraq, a nomination some Republican senators have criticized. Despite Hill's lack of Middle East ex-perience, his efforts in talks to end North Korea's nuclear programs deserve praise, she said.

The largest US arms transfer to India to date, in the form of a $2.1 billion sale of long-range maritime reconnaissance and antisubmarine aircraft, has received White House approval, the State Department said.

Seattle's oldest newspaper, the 146-year-old Post-Intelligencer, printed its final edition Monday night. Hearst Corp., which failed to find a buyer for the paper, will shift the P-I to an entirely online version.

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