Army PFC Jessica Lynch was rescued after 10 days as an Iraqi prisoner of war, the US Central Command announced. The remains of 11 others also were recovered in the raid by special forces on a hospital in Nassiriya, and some were believed to be American soldiers. President Bush welcomed news of the raid, which provided a morale boost as coalition forces launched a major drive toward Baghdad. "The circle is closing," Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said Tuesday, while denying reports of cease-fire talks.

After a stop in Turkey, Secretary of State Powell travels to NATO headquarters in Brussels Thursday for meetings aimed at repairing ties strained by the war in Iraq. After talks in Ankara, Powell and Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul announced agreements on how to address potential frictions with Iraqi Kurds near the Turkish border, on shipping supplies for coalition forces through Turkish territory, and on a proposed $1 billion US aid package.

A judge recommended overturning the narcotics convictions of 38 people caught in a 1999 police sting in Tulia, Texas, ruling Tuesday that the verdicts were based on questionable testimony from a single undercover officer. Most of the defendants are black. The officer, Tom Coleman, is white, and critics maintained that the sting was racially motivated. Prosecutors said they won't retry the defendants.

States may compel health maintenance organizations (HMOs) to enroll more doctors, the US Supreme Court ruled. The unanimous verdict upheld Kentucky's so-called any willing provider laws, which had been challenged by managed-care firms. About half of the states have similar legislation.

Factory orders fell 1.5 percent in February, the biggest decline since September, the Commerce Department reported. The reading was worse than analysts had expected.

The FBI was sending hostage negotiators after a boat hijacked in Cuba was reported drifting 60 miles off Key West, Fla. The vessel was carrying 15 to 20 people, an FBI spokeswoman said. If confirmed, it would be the second hijacking from Cuba in two days and the third in less than a month, as Fidel Castro's regime conducts an extensive crackdown on perceived critics.

In what turned out to be a false alarm, an American Airlines jet was quarantined briefly at San Jose International Airport in California Tuesday, after five people on the flight from Tokyo showed symptoms of the so-called Asian mystery illness. All 139 passengers and crew were later cleared by health officials. SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) is blamed for at least 78 fatalities worldwide. No deaths have been reported in the US from the disease.

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