President Bush was scheduled to visit the Camp Pendleton Marine base near San Diego Tuesday to say "thank you" to American troops for fighting Iraqi insurgents. More than 200 troops from units based there have been among the 1,200 military personnel who've died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003.

Saying the state was at "a point of crisis," New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) said he will run for governor in 2006. Spitzer, who has long been known to be interested in the post, has shaken up the nation's financial institutions with his investigations of white-collar crime.

Twenty-two Chicago firefighters were among 34 people injured - some of them seriously - in a high-rise fire that took more than five hours to put out Monday night. More than 300 firefighters battled the blaze, which began on the 29th floor of the historic headquarters of the LaSalle Bank. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Compromise legislation to overhaul the nation's intelligence agencies appears certain to pass as soon as House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R) of Illinois brings up the bill. The measure has been held up since before Thanksgiving because of the concerns of some of Hastert's fellow Republicans. Momentum has shifted with the backing of Bush and House Armed Services chairman Duncan Hunter of California, one of those with earlier concerns.

Army National Guardsman David Qualls and seven unidentified active-duty soldiers filed a lawsuit Monday in Washington asking the court to immediately release them from service. Their case challenges the Army's policy requiring soldiers in Iraq to serve longer than the terms of their enlistment contracts. In Boston, a dozen homosexuals expelled from the military also filed a suit, challenging the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and demanding reinstatement.

The FBI said it would look into ecoterrorism as a possible motive for fires that damaged or destroyed 41 homes under construction in a luxury housing development in Indian Head, Md. Investigators found evidence of arson in at least four of the fires. Environmental and community groups have tried to stop the project near Washington.

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