Despite a much greater commitment by the Bush administration to protecting the nation against bioterrorist attacks, government officials and specialists express mounting concern about the nation's unpreparedness, according to a story in Monday's Washington Post. Even with greatly increased spending on biodefenses, experts find significant weaknesses, including a healthcare network that would be overwhelmed in the aftermath of an attack and a lack of technology needed for real-time detection of bioterrorism.

Eight percent of Arctic ice, covering an area larger than Texas and Arizona combined, has been lost in the past 30 years according to the most comprehensive study of Arctic warming to date. The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, released Monday, is a four-year study by 300 scientists in seven Arctic-bordering nations, plus the US.

The number of women in prison has grown 48 percent since 1995 and for the first time has topped 100,000, the Justice Department revealed in a new report. Overall, the prison population in state and federal institutions grew by 2 percent last year, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Men are still far more likely than women to be in prison, with 1,368,866 jailed in 2003.

British runner Paula Radcliffe, the marathon world record holder who dropped out of the Olympic marathon in August at the 22-mile mark, pulled away in the final meters to win the tightest women's race in the 35-year history of the New York City Marathon on Sunday. Her time (2 hours, 23 minutes, 10 seconds) was four seconds faster than Kenyan Susan Chepkemei's. South Africa's Hendrik Ramaala won the men's race in 2:09:28 for his first marathon victory. Below, the victors pose together.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) of California travels to Japan this week on his first trade mission since taking office. Although wildly popular as a movie actor with Japanese audiences, Schwarzenegger may find his powers of persuasion tested in encouraging Japanese businesses to invest in California, where high taxes and worker-compensation costs are seen as inhibiting factors.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R) of Pennsylvania, who is in line to head the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he will not stand in the way of judicial nominees who do not agree with the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Specter, a moderate who backs abortion rights, made the comment on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday. Right after last Tuesday's election, Specter had set off a furor among conservatives when he said antiabortion judges were unlikely to be confirmed.

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