With Americans focused on Monday's tax-filing deadline, President Bush urged Congress to pass legislation to make tax cuts permanent during his Saturday radio address. Bush claimed that cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 have succeeded in creating jobs and stimulating economic growth. Democrats, meanwhile, argue that the cuts alone are unable to secure the economic future of middle-class taxpayers and are irresponsible given pressing revenue needs to fund the war effort and other matters.

New Jersey became the 11th state to institute a ban on indoor smoking after a judge denied an effort by a coalition of bars, restaurants, and bowling alleys to postpone the effective date of the ban, which took effect Saturday. Only ca-sinos are exempted from the prohibition.

Direct US talks with Iran about the latter's nuclear program would be useful, Sen. Richard Lugar (R) of Indiana said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" program. He also suggested going slow on sanctions. The White House has ruled out direct talks with Tehran.

Seventeen University of Virginia student protesters who demanded a "living wage" for the school's lowest-paid workers were arrested Saturday in Charlottesville, ending a four-day administration building sit-in.

About 3,000 demonstrators upset about the suicide of 14-year-old Anthony Soltero converged on city hall in Los Angeles Saturday to advocate for immigration reforms. According to attorneys for the teen's family, he left a note saying a middle-school administrator had warned he would be disciplined for leaving school for participating in an immigration rally. School officials dispute that and question that he attended a rally the day he left school.

Midwesterners began to clean up after tornadoes touched down in the region late last week. In Iowa City, estimated damage could reach $13 million, including nearly $6 million to buildings at the University of Iowa. Forecasters anticipated more severe storms Sunday and scorching temperatures, with highs in the 90s and 100s in the southern Plains.

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