Wachovia Corp., a Charlotte, N.C.-based bank that is the nation's fourth largest, announced it will pay $25 billion in a stock-and-cash deal to buy Golden West Financial Corp. of Oakland, Calif. The acquisition will allow Wachovia, which operates in the South and East, to become a force in the West, where Golden West operates a 285-branch network that spans 10 states.

President Bush told ARD German television, in an interview transcript released Sunday, that he'd like to close the detention camp in Guantánamo, Cuba, where 500 "enemy combatants" are held, but he is waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on whether military tribunals can hear their cases. The justices are expected to decide in June whether those suspected of having Al Qaeda or Taliban connections need to be tried in a military or a civilian court.

Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said he doesn't favor extending the May 15 deadline to sign up for the Medicare drug benefit, as some lawmakers do. Still, the cutoff will be waived for many lowincome seniors. To facilitate enrollment, the government has added 9,000 phone operators and tripled computer capacity.

Student protesters at Gallaudet University in Washington were again camped out at the entrance to campus Monday to oppose the selection of Jane Fernandes as the new president of the nation's only liberal arts college for the deaf. Faculty members were considering a no-confidence vote on Fernandes, a Gallaudet provost whose life experiences as a deaf person differ from many others on campus.

Average paid newspaper circulation fell 2.6 percent for weekday editions during the six-month period ending in March, according to the Newspaper Association of America. First-quarter viewership of newspaper-run websites, however, rose an encouraging 8 percent, it said.

Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants moved within one home run of tying Babe Ruth for second place on baseball's career homers list with a 450-foot blast Sunday night in Philadelphia. The Giants opened a seven-game home stand Monday, but Bonds was expected to take the night off after the cross-country flight. With 713 homers, Bonds is 42 behind Hank Aaron's major league record.

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