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Briefs (left)

Bush Urges U.N. Hasten
To Send Darfur Peacekeepers

By Joel Brinkley

President Bush pressed the United Nations on Monday to speed up planning for the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers to Darfur.

The Security Council agreed in February to plan the deployment, to replace African Union forces. But the process appeared to stop two months ago, after Sudan refused visas to an assessment team.

In the meantime, violence has increased, and hundreds of people have been killed and thousands more driven from their homes.

In New York, John R. Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said he had begun circulating a draft resolution that would require Secretary General Kofi Annan to complete the planning within 30 days.

Selection of the troops and their deployment could still take several months. About 7,000 African Union troops trying to keep the peace in Darfur have been ineffective.

Bush also said he had ordered two emergency shipments of food aid for the two million people living in refugee camps in Darfur and asked Congress to approve $225 million in additional assistance.

Iraqis Are Close to Filling
Several Top Posts

By Richard A. Oppel Jr.

Iraqi political leaders made several minor breakthroughs toward forming a new government on Monday, but they said that a number of issues must be resolved before the prime minister-designate, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, can announce his Cabinet and assume his role as the first full-term chief executive in the post-invasion government.

Al-Maliki, who was a Shiite hard-liner while serving in the national parliament but must now become a consensus builder who can bring together Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis, had vowed to assemble a cabinet by Tuesday. But by late Monday that appeared unlikely, several political leaders said, and they added that it could take until next week to form the new government.

A few of the more important jobs appeared to have been filled, said Khalid al-Atiya, a senior Shiite official and deputy speaker of parliament.

Al-Atiya said it appeared that the foreign minister would once again be Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd, and that Barham Saleh, another Kurd, would be a deputy prime minister. The other deputy prime minister would be a member of the largest Sunni Arab political bloc, the Iraqi Consensus Front, but no one had yet been named, he said.

A Strain of Mice Appears Able
To Resist Cancer Cells

By Nicholas Wade

Researchers at Wake Forest University possess a remarkable strain of mice. They appear to be resistant to injections of cancer cells that kill all ordinary mice. Even better, the researchers say, the immune system cells from these mice, when injected into nonresistant mice, will cure their cancers.

The researchers, led by Dr. Zheng Cui, are reporting this finding on Tuesday in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

At a news conference last week, Cui and a colleague, Dr. Mark C. Willingham, speculated on the possibility of applying their findings to human patients.

They have named the animals S.R./C.R. mice. The designation stands for spontaneous remission/complete resistance mice. All are descendants of a BALB/c mouse, a standard laboratory strain, a batch of which arrived in Cui’s laboratory in 1999 to be injected with a lethal strain of mouse cancer cells.