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Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) of Louisiana, whose time in office has brought criticism for sluggish hurricane response and recovery efforts, announced Tuesday that she won't seek reelection to a second term in the fall. She said her decision should help her get initiatives through an upcoming legislative session "without interference from election-year politics."

Because of so-called unconstitutional language, White House advisers said Tuesday they will recommend that President Bush veto a bill to give the District of Columbia a vote in the House. The House will vote on the legislation Friday, with Senate approval required before it arrives on the president's desk. The bill would add one House seat for overwhelmingly Democratic D.C. and another for predominantly Republican Utah.

Cost-cutting at BP's Texas City, Texas, refinery led to inadequate safeguards needed to help prevent a 2005 explosion that killed 15 people and injured 170, a government report said Tuesday. The report also chided the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for lax federal oversight beginning in 1995.

Arizona's Hualapai Indians unveiled a horseshoe-shaped, steel-and-glass observation deck Tuesday that hangs 70 feet over the Grand Canyon's edge. Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin and his wife, Lois, were among the VIPs who took in the view from the "Skywalk," 4,000 feet above the canyon floor. Critics argue that it is out of place with its surroundings.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Tuesday that the agency will modify its requirements so that all babies born in the US whose deliveries are covered by Medicaid, including those born to noncitizens, will be treated equally. Last year, federal officials said this status would not extend to infants whose delivery was covered only through emergency Medicaid.

Rescuers found 12-year-old Boy Scout Michael Auberry dehydrated and disoriented but otherwise in good health on Tuesday after he'd spent four days lost in the wooded mountains of North Carolina. The boy had wandered about 1-1/2 miles away from a scout campsite hoping to hitchhike home, his father said. A rescue dog picked up his scent.

The auto industry faces a big challenge in developing commercially viable hydrogenpowered vehicles, auto and energy experts said Tuesday at the National Hydrogen Association convention in San Antonio. Keeping clean-burning liquid hydrogen from dissipating into the air as it warms is considered one major hurdle.


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