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NOTEWORTHY

State of Union makes girl's day

After President Bush mentioned a letter she wrote in his State of the Union address Tuesday, Ashley Pearson, 10, of Lincoln, R.I., became a media darling, the Providence (R.I.) Journal reports. The fifth-grader and her family fielded interview requests from the New York Times, Washington Post and all of the network morning TV shows after writing the letter to Bush shortly after Saddam Hussein was captured. One line of the letter said, "Dear George W. Bush: If there is anything you know, I, Ashley Pearson, age 10, can do to help anyone, please send me a letter and tell me what I can do to save our country."

Ohio close to ban on same-sex marriage

Ohio lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a measure banning same-sex marriages and banning state employees from getting benefits for domestic partners. The bill, passed by the state Senate 18-15, is considered among the most far-reaching of its kind in the nation because of the benefits ban, which applies to unmarried heterosexual and homosexual couples. The Ohio House also approved the bill, and Gov. Bob Taft has said he will sign it, pending a legal review.

"Radio Day' held at White House

"Radio Day" was held Wednesday in a tent erected outside the White House's North Portico. More than 50 talk show hosts, catering to liberal, conservative, Hispanic, black, religious and all-news audiences, started 15 hours of broadcasting at 5 a.m., interviewing President Bush's top advisers on everything from weapons of mass destruction to whether making speeches gave them butterflies. Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and White House chief of staff Andrew Card were among the officials interviewed.

Saudi prince says he was abducted

An outspoken Saudi prince who favors bold reforms maintains he was kidnapped, drugged and flown home from Switzerland on orders from Saudi officials to stop him from pursuing an anticorruption campaign. Prince Sultan bin Turki, a nephew of King Fahd who does not hold a high-ranking position in the government, made the claim in a phone call to the Associated Press from his Riyadh home, where he said he has been confined for months. Saudi officials said they were unavailable or too busy to comment.

Private guards to protect West Point

Private guards will replace soldiers at the gates of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. The change, due to take place in May, is part of a broader effort by the Army to free up National Guard members who have provided added security at West Point and other Army bases since shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Maj. Kent Cassella said.

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