The US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in favor of allowing states to impose local laws and control over development on Indian lands held in trust by the federal government. The case involved the Narragansett tribe in Rhode Island.

Air-traffic controller Patrick Harten, who was the last person in contact with US Airways Flight 1549 before it successfully ditched Jan. 15 in New York's Hudson River, told a House aviation subcommittee Tuesday: "I believed ... I was going to be the last person to talk to anyone on that plane alive."

Per person US healthcare costs will top $8,000 this year, and by 2016 taxpayers will be responsible for half the nation's healthcare bill, according to a new report by the Department of Health and Human Services. An influx of baby boomers signing up for Medicare will partly add to the government's funding responsibilities.

Authorities are on the brink of charging an imprisoned Salvadoran immigrant in the 2001 murder of Washington intern Chandra Levy, a high-profile mystery that investigators have struggled to crack, the Associated Press has reported. Ingmar Guandique, who is serving time in federal prison for assaulting two female joggers, is said to be the prime suspect.

The federal government will have to assert itself to overcome local resistance in locating high-voltage power lines needed to tap large-scale wind and solar projects, a clean energy conference held in Washington concluded Monday.

Despite the economic downturn, private donations to the nation's colleges and universities grew 6.2 percent in 2008 to a record $31.6 billion, according to figures released by the Council for Aid to Education. Stanford led the way, raising $785 million, followed by Harvard ($651 million), and Columbia ($495 million). Two state schools, UCLA and Wisconsin, made the Top 10.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton selected Dennis Ross Monday to serve as a special adviser for Persian Gulf diplomacy. He's had experience as an envoy to the Middle East under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

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