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To secure Washington for the Jan. 20 inauguration, all bridges crossing the Potomac River into Washington will be closed and traffic banned in 3.5 square miles of downtown, the largest area ever secured for such an occasion, the Secret Service announced Wednesday. Meanwhile, the inaugural committee said a group of "everyday Americans" will join President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden on their Whistle Stop Tour train trip from Philadelphia to Washington, which arrives in the nation's capital on Jan. 17.

The Pentagon has decided not to award Purple Hearts to service members diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder because the condition is not "a wound intentionally caused by the enemy from an outside force or agent." The award historically has gone to those wounded or killed in combat.

US cities are vulnerable to the type of coordinated, low-tech assault terrorists conducted in Mumbai in November, White House homeland security adviser Ken Wainstein said prior to congressional testimony Thursday about the attacks in Mumbai (formerly Bombay).

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