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Beginning a regional tour to discuss plans for a postwar Iraq with Arab allies and to thank US troops for their service, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld met with senior officials in the United Arab Emirates Sunday and was scheduled to proceed to Qatar. Rumsfeld has said the US is considering repositioning or reducing forces in the region, as needed. It wasn't immediately clear whether he would go to Iraq, due to security concerns. But a stop in Afghanistan is planned for talks with President Hamid Karzai.

Averting an immediate bankruptcy for American Airlines, the flight attendants' union Friday followed pilots and ground-crew workers in authorizing $1.8 billion in pay and other givebacks, after parent company AMR Corp. sweetened the package somewhat and chief executive Donald Carty resigned. Gerard Arpey, who was appointed as Carty's successor, still faces significant challenges turning around the troubled carrier, which Standard & Poor's said it was keeping on a credit watch. Meanwhile, in a separate development, the Transportation Department filed a racial bias complaint accusing American of discriminating against 10 passengers of Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian, or Muslim appearance in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. American denies any wrongdoing.

Army Secretary Thomas White resigned Friday after a two-year stint that was marked by questions about his previous role as an executive at bankrupt energy trader Enron Corp., as well as by alleged differences with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. His exit means the Bush administration will be replacing the Army's civilian chief as well as its two highest-ranking uniformed officers.

The police chief of Tacoma, Wash., critically wounded his estranged wife before killing himself Saturday, after news reports disclosed that they had accused each other of domestic violence in their divorce proceedings. David Brame reportedly shot his wife, Crystal, with a handgun in a shopping center parking lot, after first taking their two young children to his car.

National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston officially steps down Monday after five years as the gun lobby's best-known figure. The noted actor was diagnosed last year with symptoms of a neurological disorder.

The latest in a series of spring storms dumped as much as 20 inches of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains between Nevada and California. One ski resort said that April's snowfall now stands just shy of the 1982 record of 115 inches.

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