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IMF chief resigns; rape probe widens

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, 62, resigned as IMF managing director, the Associated Press reported in Washington early Thursday. On Wednesday in New York, investigators cut out a piece of carpet in a painstaking search of a penthouse suite for DNA evidence that could corroborate a hotel maid's allegation that Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her, law enforcement officials said.

New York detectives and prosecutors believe the carpet may contain Strauss-Kahn's semen after an episode of forced oral sex, the officials said Wednesday.

Besides examining the Sofitel Hotel suite, they were looking at the maid's keycard to determine whether she used it to enter the room, and how long she was there, officials said.

- AP

9/11 compensation fund master picked

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department on Wednesday chose a special master to administer a multibillion-dollar fund created to provide compensation to rescue workers and others who were sickened from exposure to toxic fumes, dust, and smoke from ground zero after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

The appointment of Sheila L. Birnbaum, 71, a lawyer specializing in tort cases who has mediated lawsuits brought by the families of 9/11 victims, is a major step in carrying out legislation passed by Congress late last year to reopen the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Birnbaum will help write the rules and procedures for the $2.8 billion fund, supervise its staff, and personally approve the size of individual compensation packages.

Congress approved the compensation program in December after years of lobbying and debate. - N.Y. Times News Service

Chicago jury set in terrorism trial

CHICAGO - Opening statements are scheduled for Monday in the trial of a Chicago businessman accused of helping to plan the 2008 Mumbai attacks, after 12 jurors and six alternates were sworn in Wednesday.

Tahawwur Rana, 50, a Pakistan native and Canadian citizen, is charged with giving material support to terrorists and faces a possible life sentence if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty. The attacks killed 164 people. The court ordered that jurors' identities not be disclosed publicly.

Rana, who runs an immigration-services business, is accused of helping David Coleman Headley travel to Mumbai to scout potential targets and perform reconnaissance for a never-executed plot to attack a Danish newspaper that published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Headley, whose mother was a Philadelphia socialite, pleaded guilty to 12 terrorism-related counts last year and will testify at the trial if prosecutors ask, his lawyer said. - Bloomberg News


The Obama administration said in a filing with a U.S. appeals court in Atlanta that the 2010 health-care law should be upheld because the costs of the uninsured are a burden on interstate commerce. The court will hear arguments June 8.