As she prepares for her first trip as Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice said there is a possibility the US could help train and equip Palestinian security forces. "[I] am sure that there will be ways that we might be involved in that," Rice said, as she seeks to promote Middle East peace on a visit to the region next week. She also indicated that the US has not run out of patience with diplomatic efforts to end Iran's suspected nuclear arms program, despite tough talk by others in the Bush administration.

Half of all US bankruptcies are caused by soaring medical bills, and most people sent into debt by illness are middle-class workers with health insurance, according to results of a new study published in the journal Health Affairs. Ohio University and Harvard University researchers estimated that medical bankruptcies affect about 2 million Americans annually.

Army Sgt. Javal Davis, a former guard at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, pleaded guilty Tuesday in the abuse scandal as part of a deal with prosecutors on the eve of his trial at Fort Hood, Texas. In a separate hearing, Spc. Roman Krol, an Army reservist, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and maltreating detainees. He received a 10-month sentence. Davis has yet to be sentenced.

A Hamilton College panel on the "Limits of Dissent" was cancelled after multiple death threats were reported against both officials of the upstate New York school and controversial guest speaker Ward Churchill. An essay by Churchill, in which the University of Colorado professor compared victims of the 9/11 World Trade Center bombing to "little Eichmanns," a reference to the infamous Nazi war criminal, ignited strong resistance to Churchill's scheduled visit.

The crew of a corporate jet taking off from Teterboro, N.J., lost control of the plane, causing it to hurtle off the end of a runway, cross a highway, and crash into a warehouse while attempting to take off Wednesday. No fatalities were reported but at least 14 people were injured, one critically.

Florida's efforts to improve its voting process after the infamous "hanging chad" fiasco of the 2000 presidential election have paid off, a Department of State report said Tuesday. The number of invalid ballots fell by 83 percent to its lowest level yet, 0.41 percent, during last November's election. The state has outlawed punchcards in favor of optical-scan ballots and touch-screen voting.

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