The disappearance of roughly 400 tons of explosives in Iraq from a storage depot used by Saddam Hussein's military was heating up as an issue in the late stages of the US presidential campaign. A spokesman for one of the first US military units to search the Al-Qaqaa installation said it conducted a cursory hunt for chemical weapons but had no orders to search or secure the facility for high explosives because those were known to be "everywhere in Iraq." Responding to criticisms of the Bush administration by Democratic nominee John Kerry, Vice President Cheney said the senator does not mention "400,000 tons of weapons and explosives that our troops have captured."

The presidential candidates home in on some of the most hotly contested states today, with President Bush making stops in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and Kerry visiting Ohio and Wisconsin, the latter a state that Bush narrowly lost four years ago. Bush has tried to make the point that Kerry lacks the resoluteness of past greats of his party, such as Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy, while Kerry suggests that under its current leadership the US is "in a bigger mess by the day."

An Alaskan snow storm, which descended on California Tuesday and could dump two feet in the Sierra Nevada, has raised concerns in southern California, where meteorologists are forecasting intense rain, flash flooding, and possible mud slides.

In findings presented to the National Transportation Safety Board Tuesday, investigators cited copilot error and an overly sensitive rudder control as probable causes of the Nov. 12, 2001, American Airlines crash in New York's Queens neighborhood. The accident killed 260 aboard and five people on the ground. The findings drew angry reactions from Airbus Industrie, which made the plane, and American Airlines, which trained the co-pilot, since both companies are being sued by families of victims and the report could guide lawyers in the cases.

New and increasingly sharp images of Titan, Saturn's mysterious moon, began arriving at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Tuesday. They were taken from the international Cassini spacecraft during a flyby within 745 miles of the moon. Previously, the craft had been no closer than 200,000 miles.

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