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In the Nation

Midwest bounces back from storm

CHICAGO - Air travel in the Midwest was returning to normal yesterday after a storm blanketed the Great Lakes region with several inches of snow.

Only two dozen flights were canceled yesterday morning at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, aviation officials said, in sharp contrast to Friday, when nearly 300 flights were canceled because of the weather and delays of 30 to 45 minutes were common. Delays at Midway Airport averaged 30 minutes, with about 25 cancellations.

By early afternoon yesterday, the storm had largely blown out to sea after spreading snow across northern New England, with rain elsewhere in the Northeast and in the Mid-Atlantic. Radar showed snow lingering in northern Maine and Canada's Maritime Provinces.

- AP

Bush seeks to ease economic worries

CRAWFORD, Texas - President Bush tried yesterday to assure many families that he knows they are struggling to pay bills, even as he again defended the economy's strength in his weekly radio address, recorded at his Texas ranch.

Bush said he and Congress had recently come to terms on some ways to help, including an energy bill and a measure to help families avoid a tax hit when they refinance a mortgage. He chided lawmakers for slipping an estimated 9,800 pet projects into a massive spending bill at the end of their session. Bush signed the bill last week.

Delivering the Democratic radio address, Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said her party had delivered results for working families during its year in charge of Congress.

- AP

Ten are sent home from Guantanamo

The Pentagon has reduced the detainee population at Guantanamo, announcing that it sent 10 captives home to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis had not been charged with any crimes and were held as "enemy combatants." Their release reduced the census at the interrogation and detention center at the U.S. Navy Base in southeast Cuba to "approximately 275," a Defense Department statement said.

It was the latest in a series of releases of prisoners who were from Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich kingdom where al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was born. The largest concentration of remaining prisoners are from Yemen, bin Laden's ancestral homeland.

- McClatchy Newspapers


A customer who

was upset over his tab fired several shots into a Hooters restaurant in Knoxville, Tenn., leaving a manager and another patron in critical condition yesterday, police said.

An SUV speeding

down a muddy road in Griffin, Ga., slammed into trees and exploded, killing four people, including two children, and injuring two others, authorities said.