четверг, 1 марта 2012 г.

AP Top News at 1:36 p.m. EST

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U.N. Teams Check Saddam's Baghdad Palace

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ U.N. arms experts visited a presidential palace compound Wednesday in the heart of Baghdad, spending four hours searching two office complexes there after being kept waiting at the gate for 15 minutes by security guards. Dimitri Perricos, chief of operations for the inspection team, said the U.N. experts also stayed longer than anticipated in the complex, located in the al-Karadah district, because the Iraqi official who had keys to four safes was not there and took two hours to arrive.

Bush May Join Affirmative Action Case

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush plans to challenge a University of Michigan program that gives preference to minority students, telling the Supreme Court there are better ways to promote diversity, administration officials said Wednesday. Justice Department and White House attorneys, acting on Bush's orders, were preparing a brief arguing against programs that gave black and Hispanic students an edge when applying to the university and its law school.

N. Korea Rejects U.S. Condition on Talks

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PANMUNJOM, Korea (AP) _ North Korea on Wednesday rejected U.S. offers of dialogue and possible aid if it abandons its nuclear ambitions, calling them "pie in the sky" and a "deceptive drama" to appeal to public opinion. One day after U.S. officials held out the prospect of food and energy supplies, Pyongyang declared it would not accept any offer of dialogue with conditions attached.

Bubonic Plague Samples Reported Missing

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) _ Authorities on Wednesday were looking into the apparent theft of samples of bubonic plague from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. A report was made late Tuesday to the Tech police and city officials in Lubbock were preparing a statement Wednesday morning, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported on its online edition.

Domestic Dispute Prompts Philly Fire

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A man arguing with his girlfriend set fire to two apartments in a downtown highrise Wednesday, then plunged from a 24th-floor balcony to his death, police said. The man, whose identity wasn't immediately released, threw furniture from the apartments before lighting the fires, said police Capt. Thomas Quinn.

Supreme Court Keeps Copyright Protections

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld lengthier copyrights protecting the profits of songs, books and cartoon characters _ a huge victory for Disney and other companies. The 7-2 ruling, while not unexpected, was a blow to Internet publishers and others who wanted to make old books available online and use the likenesses of a Mickey Mouse cartoon and other old creations without paying high royalties.

Stocks Fall on Mixed Intel News

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Mixed earnings news from Intel rattled Wall Street Wednesday, sending stocks sharply lower as investors unloaded stocks on worries that corporate profits might not be so strong after all. At midday, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 128.49, or 1.5 percent, at 8,714.13, having gained 56 points Tuesday. The broader market also fell. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 24.86, or 1.7 percent, to 1,436.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 14.17, or 1.5 percent, to 917.49.

Colon to White Sox, El Duque to Expos

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Bartolo Colon moved to the Chicago White Sox and Orlando Hernandez went to the Montreal Expos in a three-team trade Wednesday also involving the New York Yankees. In exchange for Colon, who won 20 games last season for Cleveland and Montreal, the Expos received Hernandez and another right-hander, Rocky Biddle, plus outfielder Jeff Liefer and cash.

Image Caption: U.N. weapons inspectors visit on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2003, the Republican Palace in Baghdad. Inspectors spent four hours searching the presidential palace in the heart of the Iraqi capital Wednesday, making their second visit to a residence of President Saddam Hussein since inspections resumed late last year. (AP Photo/Jassim Mohammed)

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