GOP rivals Giuliani and Romney clash




ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. &

Republican presidential rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney scornfully debated immigration in a provocative, no-holds-barred CNN/YouTube debate just over a month before the first votes are cast.




Giuliani, the front-runner in national polls, accused Romney Wednesday of employing illegal immigrants at his home and running a "sanctuary mansion." The testy personal exchange came after Romney said Giuliani had retained New York's status as a sanctuary city while he was mayor.




Romney said it would "not be American" to check the papers of workers employed by a contractor simply because they have a "funny accent." He had landscapers at his Belmont, Mass., home who turned out to be in the country illegally.




Giuliani shot back, calling Romney's attitude "holier than thou."




"Mitt usually criticizes people when he usually has the far worse record," Giuliani said.




6,000 Sunnis join security pact with US




HAWIJA, Iraq &

Nearly 6,000 Sunni Arab residents joined a security pact with American forces Wednesday in what U.S. officers described as a critical step in plugging the remaining escape routes for extremists flushed from former strongholds.




The new alliance covers the "last gateway" for groups such as al-Qaida in Iraq seeking new havens in northern Iraq, U.S. military officials said.




U.S. commanders have tried to build a ring around insurgents who fled military offensives launched earlier this year in the western Anbar province and later into Baghdad and surrounding areas. In many places, the U.S.-led battles were given key help from tribal militias &

mainly Sunnis &

that had turned against al-Qaida and other groups.




Extremists have sought new footholds in northern areas once loyal to Saddam Hussein's Baath party as the U.S.-led gains have mounted across central regions. But their ability to strike near the capital remains.




A woman wearing an explosive-rigged belt blew herself up near an American patrol near Baqouba, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, the military announced Wednesday. The blast on Tuesday wounded seven U.S. troops and five Iraqis, the statement said.




Missing student led a double life online




EL DORADO, Kan. &

A missing Kansas college student believed to be the victim of foul play apparently led a double life as an Internet porn star by the name of Zoey Zane.




Nude photos of 18-year-old Emily Sander appeared on a Zoey Zane Web site before she vanished, and investigators are looking into whether her modeling had anything to do with her disappearance last Friday.




"She enjoyed it. She is a young teenage girl and she wanted to be in the movies and enjoyed movies. She needed the extra money," Nikki Watson, a close friend of Sander's at Butler Community College, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "Nobody in El Dorado knew besides her close friends."




Sander's brother, Jacob Sander, confirmed that the nude woman pictured on the site is his sister.




El Dorado Police Chief Tom Boren said FBI and state experts on Internet crime have been called in.




Stocks soar, Dow has biggest 2-day gain




NEW YORK &

Although Wall Street has logged its biggest two-day rally in five years, no one is ready to declare an end to the credit crisis that has pummeled stocks since the summer.




Moreover, the Dow Jones industrial average will have to keep posting gains this week to keep November from being its worst month since September 2002.




Investors desperate for some good news about the economy and the struggling financial sector got some Tuesday and Wednesday as a Federal Reserve official hinted that the central bank may lower interest rates again, and cash-raising initiatives were announced by Citigroup Inc. and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage investor. Both companies have been hit hard by the steady stream of soured mortgages this year.




The belief that falling rates and an influx of cash could stanch, and perhaps reverse, months of losses at mortgage lenders and investment banks and help stop the economy from weakening drove the Dow up 331.01, or 2.55 percent, to 13,289.45, adding to the blue chip index's 215 point advance Tuesday. That gave the market's best known indicator its largest two-day point gain since Oct. 11, 2002, and its largest two-day percentage gain since Nov. 21, 2002.




Triple-digit moves have become commonplace on Wall Street the past few months as investors' optimism about an end to credit market problems has alternately surged and then evaporated.




The Dow, which plunged 240 points just this past Monday, remains more than 6 percent below its Oct. 9 record close over 14,000, having succumbed to worries that the housing market's slump will lead to further losses for banks, and that the Fed can't keep slashing rates.




"" The Associated Press




Study warns millions needlessly getting dangerous radiation from CT scans, raising cancer risk




Millions of Americans, especially children, are needlessly getting dangerous radiation from "super X-rays" that raise the risk of cancer and are increasingly used to diagnose medical problems, a new report warns.




In a few decades, as many as 2 percent of all cancers in the United States might be due to radiation from CT scans given now, according to the authors of the report.




Some experts say that estimate is overly alarming. But they agree with the need to curb these tests particularly in children, who are more susceptible to radiation and more likely to develop cancer from it.




"There are some serious concerns about the methodology used," but the authors "have brought to attention some real serious potential public health issues," said Dr. Arl Van Moore, head of the American College of Radiology's board of chancellors.




The risk from a single CT, or computed tomography, scan to an individual is small. But "we are very concerned about the built-up public health risk over a long period of time," said Eric J. Hall, who wrote the report with fellow Columbia University medical physicist David J. Brenner.