President given a cortisone shot

WASHINGTON - After experiencing pain in his left shoulder recently, President Bush had an MRI yesterday, and it was determined he needed a cortisone shot and nothing more.

Bush had the exam during a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to see soldiers recovering from severe injuries suffered in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said. Bush, as he left the hospital, said he was "in good shape."

At Walter Reed, the president was visiting 13 patients and spending time with the family of one soldier in intensive care. He also was awarding seven Purple Hearts.

Earlier in the day, Bush and his wife, Laura, delivered about 150 coats for the needy to a distribution center for the One Warm Coat Holiday Service Project.

- AP

Germany may accept detainees

Germany has joined Portugal in voicing a willingness to take detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to aid President-elect Barack Obama's plan to shut the camp.

Germany is considering taking some detainees and will have "intensive discussions" about what to do with prisoners considered innocent who cannot return to their home countries, German government spokesman Thomas Steg said yesterday.

The announcement may make it easier for Obama to fulfill his campaign pledge to shut the prison.

The Bush administration has been trying to resettle about 60 detainees that it believes could be released because they no longer pose a serious threat to U.S. security. Many of these detainees, seized after the Sept. 11 attacks, face persecution or torture if returned to their home countries, so the United States has asked other nations to accept them for resettlement.

- Bloomberg News

Ill. impeachment panel goes home

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The committee studying impeachment of Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich has ended its work for the week with no word on how deeply it can look into criminal charges against the governor.

Committee members say they won't do anything that might complicate the investigation by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. The committee plans to meet again next Monday.

Separately, transition officials said yesterday that President-elect Barack Obama plans to reveal today his staff's contacts with Blagojevich, who is accused of trying to sell Obama's Senate seat.

- AP

Elsewhere:

Six Miami men accused

of plotting with al-Qaeda to destroy Chicago's Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices in several cities will go to trial for a third time in January, a federal judge said. Juries twice have failed to convict any of the so-called Liberty City Seven, though one man was acquitted after the first trial.

Army Secretary Pete Geren

said yesterday that he would not stay on as head of the nation's largest military service, though he has agreed to remain in the job until a successor is confirmed. President-elect Barack Obama has not named anyone to the post.