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MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2007

News In Brief

Release of Smith autopsy expected

MIAMI — The murky circumstances surrounding Anna Nicole Smith’s death could become clearer Monday, when authorities are expected to release the results of the former pinup’s autopsy.

The anticipated disclosure of what killed Smith comes more than six weeks after she was found unresponsive at her hotel suite in Hollywood, Fla.

The autopsy results had been expected weeks ago but have been repeatedly delayed, in part because the Broward County medical examiner, Dr. Joshua Perper, said he received additional evidence from the Seminole Police Department.

Senators question Gonzales’ honesty

WASHINGTON — Republican support for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales eroded Sunday as senators sharply questioned his honesty over last fall’s firings of eight federal prosecutors. Two Democrats joined the list of lawmakers calling for Gonzales’ ouster.

Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Bill Nelson of Florida said Gonzales should step down.

“The nation is not well served by this,” said Feinstein, whose state had two U.S. attorneys fired in the purge. Nelson said Gonzales should resign because he has “lost his credibility.”

Study: Child care, behavior related

WASHINGTON — Children who got quality child care before entering kindergarten had better vocabulary scores in the fifth grade than did youngsters who received lower quality care.

Also, the more time that children spent in child care, the more likely their sixth grade teachers were to report problem behavior.

The findings come from the largest study of child care and development conducted in the U.S. The 1,364 children in the analysis had been tracked since birth as part of a study by the National Institutes of Health.

Blair calls for U.N. action for Darfur

ES SALLAM, Sudan — Britain and Germany called Sunday for tougher action against Sudan to end four years of bloodshed in Darfur, where the new U.N. humanitarian chief warned of a possible collapse in the massive effort to aid refugees from the violence.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair called the actions of Sudan’s government “unacceptable” and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the Darfur region’s suffering “unbearable.”

Aftershocks hit Japan after quake

KANAZAWA, Japan — Aftershocks shook a rural area of coastal central Japan Monday, a day after a powerful earthquake killed at least one person and injured 170 others as it toppled buildings, triggered landslides and generated a small tsunami along the coast.

One of the aftershocks had a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 and struck at 7:19 a.m. Monday.

“A fairly big aftershock hit just minutes ago and I jumped out the door,” said Tomio Maeda, manager of a convenience store in Anamizu town. “It’s scary, I guess it’s not over yet.”

Rice takes cautious approach to peace

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday she is taking it slow and steady as she assembles the elements for what might be a new Mideast peace plan.

“My approach has been, I admit, careful,” Rice said, because too many past efforts have failed despite what seemed to be clear objectives. “It’s been step by step. I have not been willing to try for the big bang.”

Rice is midway through a shuttle diplomacy mission that evokes previous failed attempts to pull together Israelis and the Palestinians. It is her fourth trip to the region in as many months.

Lott speaks against setting timetable

WASHINGTON — With his go-it-alone approach on Iraq, President Bush is flouting Congress and the public, so angering lawmakers that some are considering impeachment an option, GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican leader harshly criticized House Democrats for setting an “artificial date” for withdrawing troops from Iraq and said he believes Republicans have enough votes to prevent passage of a similar bill in the Senate.

“We need to put that kind of decision in the hands of our commanders who are there on the ground,” said Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss.


Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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