Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has begun a week-long trip to Asia, her first in her new post. In Tokyo, where she commenced the tour, her schedule includes a meeting with families of Japanese abducted decades ago to help train North Korean spies. She plans to press North Korea on this issue. Other stops will take her to Indonesia, South Korea, and China.

The US has ordered 30,000 Haitians, including 600 in detention, to leave the country, according to a report in Monday's South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Storm-ravaged Haiti says it is trying to rebuild and can't handle returning deportees.

Instead of a "car czar" to direct the restructuring of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, President Obama will establish a task force jointly overseen by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, according to a senior administration official. The government panel will hold the companies to the recovery plans due Tuesday for repaying government loans.

The fireball that people reported seeing leave a trail of falling debris across the Texas sky Sunday remains a mystery to Federal Aviation Admin-istration officials, who said they "don't doubt what people saw" but can't account for it.

The first beaver sighting in the Detroit River in at least 75 years has been hailed by wildlife officials as a sign that efforts to clean up the waterway are paying off. The animal was spotted by a utility company motion-sensitive camera.

To help restore Nevada's dwindling deer population, the state has announced a "predator reduction" program that will enlist hunters to kill more mountain lions than normally permitted. Animal advocates say drought and development are more important factors in the decline than lions.

Veteran stock car driver Matt Kenseth won the first Daytona 500 of his 11-year NASCAR career in Sunday's season-opening race, which was called after 152 of 200 laps because of rain. It was only the fourth rain-shortened race in the 51-year history of the circuit's premier event. Kenseth hadn't won any races in 2008.

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