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AROUND THE NATION

> KENTUCKY

Busloads of mourners at Mennonites' service

MARROWBONE, Ky. (AP) -- More than 3,000 mourners, most of them Mennonites or Amish, traveled by the busload Tuesday to pay their respects to nine Mennonites killed when a tractor-trailer struck a family's van in south-central Kentucky.

For one morning, a large former warehouse became a church during the memorial service for John and Sadie Esh, six other family members and the fiancee of one of their daughters.

Many at the funeral came from hundreds of miles away to pay their respects to nine people they had never met.

The women wore long black dresses with white bonnets, the men black suits without ties. The family's pastor, Leroy Kauffman, urged the audience to trust in God, even in the face of tragedy. He said he had faith the family did that when they saw the headlights of the tractor-trailer on Interstate 65 before dawn Friday as the van traveled to Iowa for a wedding.

"When the headlights shine through your windshield, what will your answer be?" he said.

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> WYOMING

University cancels talk by '60s radical Ayers

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- The University of Wyoming has canceled a speech by former 1960s radical William Ayers after hundreds of objections were raised by citizens and politicians.

In a statement released by the university, UW President Tom Buchanan supported the decision to cancel Ayers.

"The University of Wyoming is one of the few institutions remaining in today's environment that garner the confidence of the public. The visit by Professor Ayers would have adversely impacted that reputation," Buchanan said. Ayers was a co-founder of Weather Underground, a radical anti-war group that claimed responsibility for a series of bombings, including explosions at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol that didn't kill anyone.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican Sen. John McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, resurrected Ayers' radical past when she accused then-candidate Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists."

Obama and Ayers served together on the board of a Chicago charity, and Ayers hosted a meet-the-candidate session for Obama at his home in the mid-1990s.

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> DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Iranian N-scientist reportedly defects

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An Iranian nuclear scientist who had been reported missing since last summer has defected to the United States and is assisting the CIA in its efforts to undermine Iran's nuclear program, ABC News reported Tuesday.

The scientist, Shahram Amiri, has been resettled in this country, according to the report. The CIA had no comment, a spokesman said.

Amiri, who worked at Tehran's Malek Ashtar University, an institution closely connected to Iran's Revolutionary Guard, disappeared last June while in Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage.

While his disappearance led to speculation that he had defected and was assisting the West in its efforts to keep track of Iran's nuclear program, the foreign minister for Iran accused the United States of helping to kidnap him.

Amiri has been extensively debriefed since his defection, according to the report, and has helped to confirm U.S. intelligence assessments about the Iranian nuclear program.

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> DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Scientist says he lost FDA job for opinion

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A former Food and Drug Administration scientist said Tuesday his job was eliminated after he raised concerns about the risks of radiation exposure from high-grade medical scanning.

Dr. Julian Nicholas said at a public hearing that he and other FDA staffers "were pressured to change their scientific opinion," after they opposed the approval of a CT scanner for routine colon cancer screening.

After FDA officials pushed ahead with plans to clear the device, Nicholas, now a physician at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego, said he and eight other staffers raised their concerns with the division's director last September. A month later his position was terminated, he said. The FDA announced an effort to improve scanning safety in February after three California hospitals reported hundreds of acute radiation overdoses last year.

Agency spokesman Dick Thompson said he FDA's inspector general looked into allegations of retaliation against agency scientists and didn't pursue further action.

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