Gates' $1.5 billion plan to aid women

WASHINGTON - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will spend $1.5 billion over five years to support maternal and child-health projects abroad.

Melinda Gates, whose husband is cofounder of Microsoft Corp. and one of the world's richest people, announced the plan at an international conference on women's health attended by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The world doesn't lack the know-how to reduce deaths in childbirth, Gates said. "It's that we haven't tried hard enough," she said.

"Policymakers in both rich and poor countries have treated women and children, quite frankly, as if they matter less than men," Gates said. "They have squandered opportunities to improve the health of women and babies."

She said a significant portion of the new money will support programs in India, Ethiopia, and other nations with relatively high rates of maternal and child mortality. - AP

Ex-CIA official admits to assault

WASHINGTON - A former CIA station chief who allegedly raped an unconscious Algerian woman pleaded guilty Monday to abusive sexual contact and unlawful use of cocaine while possessing a firearm.

Andrew Warren, 42, who was assigned to Algiers in 2007, faces up to 10 years in prison, the Justice Department said. He will be sentenced Sept. 9. In court, he admitted committing the assault while on U.S. Embassy property in Algiers.

In 2008, two Algerian women said Warren had sexually assaulted them at his home in Algiers, papers filed in federal court by a State Department investigator said. One of the women said she was drinking at a party at the home when something made her ill and she passed out, according to the investigation. She awoke believing she had had intercourse. - AP

Blagojevich jury likely ready today

CHICAGO - The judge in the corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich ended the questioning of potential jurors Monday and told attorneys to be ready with their opening statements Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel told the lawyers to be prepared to make their final challenges about potential jurors first thing Tuesday, and said opening statements are likely to start immediately after the jury is seated. Zagel said he would adjourn after the openings and start hearing from witnesses on Wednesday.

Blagojevich, 53, who was impeached and booted out of office in 2009, has pleaded not guilty to scheming to get a payoff in exchanging for filling the Senate seat formerly held by President Obama. - AP

Elsewhere:

An Ohio police chief revised the death toll downward from seven victims to five in a weekend tornado in the Midwest. Lake Township Chief Mark Hummer said authorities were dealing with multiple counties, agencies, and hospitals when trying to figure out how many had died.

A federal judge denied Alaska's request for a preliminary injunction to kill wolves, a step it said was needed to protect a caribou herd on an Aleutian island that is a subsistence food source for a Native village.