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The US has provided Israel with an advanced radar system capable of providing an early warning should Iran launch a missile attack, reports said Sunday. They said the system, with a range of 1,240 miles, already has been installed and can detect a ballistic missile launch within minutes. That would lengthen the response time needed for an Israeli intercept, the reports said.

Wachovia Corp., the nation's sixth-largest bank, has begun discussions with several prospective merger partners, among them Citigroup Inc., informed sources said over the weekend. Officials of the Charlotte, N.C., financial giant declined to comment. Wachovia reported a $9.11 billion loss in the year's second quarter and holds $122 billion in adjustable-rate mortgages that its own chief executive has described as "distressed."

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in Camden, N.J., for the trial of five suspects accused of plotting to sneak onto nearby Fort Dix to kill US soldiers at random. The defendants, all foreign-born Muslims, were arrested in May 2007 before the plan could be carried out. The case against them does not allege that they had ties to known terrorist groups.

A team of mathematicians at the University of California, Los Angeles, has qualified for a $100,000 prize by discovering a 13 million-digit prime number, reports said Saturday. The find is the 46th known prime and the eighth discovered at UCLA. The prize is offered by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for the first prime of more than 10 million digits.

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