Since returning home from combat, at least 121 American veterans of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan have been charged or otherwise linked to killings in the US, The New York Times reported Sunday. About a third of the victims were girlfriends or relatives. A military spokesman suggested that greater media "awareness" might make it appear such homocides were on the rise.

Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, said in an interview with The New Yorker that if he were ever subjected to the interrogation technique known as waterboarding he'd call it "torture." For legal reasons, however, he declined to say whether pouring water into the nose of a strapped-down prisoner could categorically be considered torture.

Looking to reduce a backlog of immigration applications for citizenship, the federal government announced that Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the Homeland Security Depart-ment, will rehire an unspecified number of retirees.

The Directors Guild of America said it is "within shouting distance" of an agreement with Hollywood studios as contract talks began Saturday. The negotiations are sure to be watched closely by the industry's writers, who've been on strike for two months. The issues in both sets of talks center on compensation for the reuse of programs, movies, and other content on the Internet.

Bassem Youssef, a decorated, Egyptian-born FBI supervisor who has a discrimination lawsuit pending against the bureau, said Saturday its counterterrorism agents lacked the needed language skills and cultural understanding to do their jobs. Above (r.) he listened to his attorney at an American Library Association appearance. The FBI says it has 46 agents and 285 language analysts who speak at least conversational Arabic.

Louisiana became the latest state to try to capitalize on the growing trend in culinary tourism by unveiling a Web-based tool to help visitors design their own tours of the state's diverse restaurants. Programs similar to Louisiana Culinary Trails exist in Mississippi, upstate New York, and Pennsylvania Dutch country.

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