The US proposed a global treaty Thursday that would ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosives. The UN-backed draft was submitted to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. The forum is meeting in special session because of mounting international concerns about nuclear programs in Iran and Korea.

The House narrowly passed a nonbinding $2.8 trillion budget blueprint Thursday that sets broad parameters for upcoming tax and spending bills. Although modest increases in education and social-service funding were incorporated in order to pass the plan, the House and Senate remain far apart in finding a mutually agreeable budget.

Acting on a recent tip, the FBI searched a farm 35 miles northwest of Detroit Wednesday looking for clues in the 1975 disappearance of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa, who was known to have organized-crime connections. Hoffa was last seen at a restaurant in the area.

Flat early trading on Wall Street Thursday made it unclear if a recovery might be under way after Wednesday's steep sell-off, in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 214 points. The slide occurred amid concerns about rising inflation.

Executives of the Big Three US automakers held a series of closed-door meetings Thursday with Capitol Hill lawmakers. Industry officials said the talks focused on trade issues, rising employee healthcare costs, and the development of ethanol-fuel infrastructure and alternative-fuel vehicles.

In a crackdown on hazing, Northwestern University placed its entire men's swimming team on disciplinary probation Wednesday just days after suspending its women's soccer team over similar allegations.

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