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Briefs (left)

2nd Indictment Issued Against Delay

By Philip Shenon

A grand jury in Texas issued a second indictment Monday against Rep. Tom DeLay, accusing the Texas Republican and two aides of money-laundering in a $190,000 transaction that prosecutors have described as a violation of the state’s ban on the use of corporate money in local election campaigns.

The indictment was announced without warning Monday evening in Austin, the state capital, and it came after a flurry of angry and confusing exchanges between local prosecutors and lawyers for DeLay, who stepped down as House majority leader as a result of his original indictment last week on related conspiracy charges.

His defense lawyers had gone to court earlier in the day Monday to ask that the conspiracy charges be immediately dismissed on technical grounds; the lawyers argued that the conspiracy laws cited in the indictment did not apply the 2002 election violations cited in the original indictment.

Within hours, DeLay and his aides had been indicted on the new money-laundering charges, which can carry a prison sentence of up to five years.

Microsoft to Introduce
New Xbox 360’s Games

By Seth Schiesel and Matt Richtel

In the five months since Microsoft unveiled a prototype of its new video game machine, the Xbox 360, the company has tried to generate excitement by staging demonstrations of the console’s ability to play music and display digital photographs and by trumpeting its online community features.

Yet while Microsoft has tried to build buzz for the 360, the most important ingredient has largely been missing: games.

There have been snazzy screenshots and impressive trailers. But since the game industry’s big trade show in Los Angeles in May, Microsoft has shown almost nothing in terms of actual, playable games. So far, Microsoft has done little to convince hard-core gamers that the 360 will be a must-buy this holiday season.

Microsoft means to change that in a big way. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 1,000 journalists, analysts and game industry executives are gathering here at X05, Microsoft’s game exhibition, to see and play the games that the company hopes will propel the 360 into millions of homes in its first few months on shelves.

Europeans Set Arms Embargo
To Protest Uzbeks’ Crackdown

By C.J. Chivers

The European Union imposed sanctions on Uzbekistan on Monday, seeking to punish the country for its refusal to allow an international investigation into the bloody crackdown of an uprising in May in Andijon.

The sanctions embargo exports to Uzbekistan of arms and equipment that might be used for internal repression, and suspend meetings between the union and Uzbekistan that were intended to accelerate the nation’s reconciliation with the West after decades as a Soviet republic. The sanctions also ban travel by Uzbek officials directly involved in the Andijon crackdown to the 25 members of the European Union.

The decision followed months of diplomatic tension over Uzbekistan after a prison break and anti-government demonstration in Andijon on May 13. The demonstration, which survivors said included several thousand people, was scattered by gunfire from Uzbek troops and armored vehicles.

Survivors and independent organizations claim that hundreds of people were killed, almost all of them unarmed.