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President Bush said in an interview published by The Washington Post Sunday that the US military will pull out of Iraq "as quickly as possible, but they won't be leaving until we have completed our mission." Meanwhile, the White House denounced a report Sunday in The New Yorker magazine that the US has conducted "secret reconnaissance missions" inside Iran to identify nuclear, chemical, and missile sites for possible military attack.

Despite Friday's conviction of Army Spc. Charles Graner Jr., the lawyer for Sgt. Javal Davis, a codefendant, said he still plans to argue that his client was obeying orders in roughing up Iraqi detainees. Davis's case, which is set to begin early next month, is considered more winnable by his lawyer because, unlike Graner, Davis is not seen in the most graphic photos of physical maltreatment and humiliation. Graner, the alleged ringleader of the abuse, was sentenced to 10 years behind bars by a military panel in Fort Hood, Texas.

Wilbert Rideau, an African-American janitor and eighth-grade dropout who became an award-winning journalist in prison, savored his first weekend as a free man since John F. Kennedy was president. He walked free Saturday from a prison in Lake Charles, La., where a racially mixed jury found him guilty of manslaughter, a lesser charge than that of murder, which three all-white juries had previously convicted him of. Rideau fatally stabbed a woman and shot two police officers in what he testified were acts of panic after a botched robbery.

Roughly 4,000 evacuated residents of Graniteville, S.C., returned to their homes Saturday, more than a week after chlorine gas leaking from a train wreck forced them to find temporary quarters. The homes of another 1,400 residents remained off-limits because they were closer to the chemical spill that killed nine people and injured 250 more Jan. 6.

The thermometer reached a near-record minus 54 degrees F. in Embarrass, Minn., Monday, as temperatures plummeted across the eastern half of the nation, freezing the Gulf Coast as a river of Arctic air pushed southward.

"The Aviator" and "Sideways" earned Golden Globes Sunday as the best film drama and best movie musical or comedy, respectively, in a major leadup to the Oscars Feb. 27. Leading-acting honors in dramas went to Leonardo DiCaprio of "The Aviator" and Hillary Swank of "Million Dollar Baby."


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