Counterterrorism efforts, Iraq's troubled path to democracy, and a proposal to spend $1.5 billion to promote marriage are among the subjects President Bush is expected to take up in his third State of the Union address Tuesday night. The president was fine-tuning the speech in weekend meetings with top advisers such as Condoleezza Rice and Karen Hughes, aides said. Terrorism remains the No. 1 concern for Americans, a new national survey found. Healthcare costs placed second, the economy third, and unemployment fourth in the Associated Press-Ipsos poll of 1,000 adults.
Despite freezing temperatures, heavy turnout was expected at the Democratic Party caucuses in Iowa Monday night. Opinion polls showed four of the main candidates vying to challenge Bush in November locked in a virtual tie, although Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts held a slim lead. "Everybody's got to do well or win," said US Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri, who has staked his White House bid on a strong showing in the state. Two other candidates, Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and retired Gen. Wesley Clark, are focusing their efforts on the next campaign target: New Hampshire. Voters there cast ballots in the nation's first party primary Jan. 27.
Despite previous denials, Northwest Airlines did give passenger data to the federal government for a secret air-security study, the company acknowledged Saturday. The carrier said chief executive Richard Anderson and a spokesman were unaware of the participation when they insisted last September that Northwest would not share such information. That's when discount carrier JetBlue publicly apologized to customers for turning over passenger records to a defense contractor.
The New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers are this year's Super Bowl opponents. The Panthers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 14 to 3 Sunday, clinching their first NFC title. The Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts 24-14 to advance to the professional football championship match for the second time in three years. The Patriots won in 2002. The Super Bowl is scheduled for Feb. 1 in Houston.
On the holiday honoring her late husband, civil rights activist Coretta Scott King appealed for reconciliation both at home and abroad. "We must remember in this election year that - Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals - we are all sisters and brothers," King said at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the Rev. Martin Luther King preached until his 1968 assassination.