Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday after a meeting in Baghdad with Gen. David Patraeus, the top US general in Iraq, that a "period of evaluation" this summer makes sense before continuing to draw down American forces. Gates added, however, that President Bush would have the final say about whether there would be a pause in the reduction of US forces. Five of 20 brigades are slated to depart by the end of July, although only one has returned home so far.

In its first formal rejection of Microsoft's $44.6 billion takeover bid, Yahoo Inc. said Monday the offer "substantially undervalues" the slumping Internet icon. Many analysts say Microsoft will raise its bid in order to compete with Google.

President Bush presented Lincoln Medals at a White House ceremony Sunday to two individuals whose lifework exemplifies the legacy and character of the nation's 16th president: former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and surgeon Benjamin Carson of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore. On Monday, first lady Laura Bush was scheduled to speak at Lincoln's birthplace in Hodgenville, Ky., as part of the long ramp-up to the 2009 bicentennial celebration of Lincoln's birth.

Pianist Herbie Hancock's tribute to singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell – "River: The Joni Letters" – was named Album of the Year at Sunday's 50th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Above, he shows off his two awards, including for the best contemporary jazz album. British singer Amy Winehouse won five awards, including for best new artist and song of the year, "Rehab."

American scientists have developed a torpedo-shaped underwater research glider that harnesses ocean temperature differences to propel itself, according to the BBC News. The development of such vehicles is considered important in making prolonged studies of ocean currents, temperatures, and salinity.

Rep. Tom Lantos (D) of California, who died Monday, was the only Holocaust survivor elected to Congress. A native of Hungary, he was active in the anti-Nazi underground and twice escaped Nazi labor camps.

Strong winds fanned wildfires in the rain-starved Carolinas and Virginia Sunday, leading Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) to declare a state of emergency and activate the Virginia National Guard. In South Carolina, officials reported more than 100 scattered forest fires. Above, residents near Conway, S.C., walk along a smoky road after evacuating their homes.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of 5 free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.