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This undated photo released by the Pima County Sheriff's Office shows shooting suspect Jared Loughner. (AP Photo/Pima County Sheriff's Dept. via The Arizona Republic)
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This undated photo released by the Pima County Sheriff's Office shows shooting suspect Jared Loughner. …

Jared Loughner, head shaved, a cut on his right temple and his hands cuffed, stared vacantly at a packed courtroom on Monday and sat down. His attorney, who defended "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, whispered to him. It was the nation's first look at the 22-year-old loner accused of trying to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The three-term Democrat lay about a 100 miles away in a Tucson intensive care unit, gravely wounded after being shot through the head but able to give a thumbs-up sign that doctors found as a reason to hope.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Doctors treating U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords said Monday the congresswoman was responding to verbal commands by raising two fingers of her left hand and even managed to give a thumbs-up. Giffords, 40, is in critical condition in the intensive care unit of Tucson's University Medical Center after she was shot through the head Saturday during a meet-and-greet with voters outside a supermarket. Two patients were discharged Sunday night. Eight others, including Giffords, remained hospitalized.

WASHINGTON (AP) — On opposite sides of the political spectrum, President Barack Obama and new House Speaker John Boehner suddenly face the same challenge: rise above the anger, suspicion and hostility of their liberal and conservative bases to help a rattled nation deal with the deadly outburst of violence in Arizona. But what comes after the easy moment of silence?

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, once considered among the nation's most powerful and feared lawmakers, was sentenced to three years in prison Monday for a scheme to influence elections that already cost him his job, leadership post and millions of dollars in legal fees. The sentence comes after a jury in November convicted DeLay, a Houston-area Republican, on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering for using a political action committee to illegally send corporate donations to Texas House candidates in 2002.

ATLANTA (AP) — Temperatures plummeted late Monday, turning slushy streets into sheets of ice across Southern states that are more accustomed to sunshine than snow. The wintry blast has grounded flights, cut power to thousands of homes and even forced Auburn University to cancel viewing parties for the national championship bowl game. Snow ranging from several inches to more than a foot blanketed states from Louisiana to the Carolinas — a region where many cities have only a handful of snow plows, if any. In many areas, the snow began turning to freezing rain, making roads even more treacherous.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a budget for the coming fiscal year Monday that deals with the state's ongoing deficit with tough medicine for nearly every Californian, making deep cuts to most areas of government while calling for a five-year extension of tax increases enacted in 2009. In releasing his first budget plan, the newly elected Democratic governor said he wanted to end the types of acccounting gimmicks, borrowing tricks and overly optimistic revenue assumptions that characterized the recent budgets signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — At least eight people were killed and 72 missing after the latest downpour to hit Australia's flood-wracked Queensland state sent raging torrents rushing through several towns, washing away cars and houses, officials said Tuesday. Emergency services officers plucked more than 40 people from houses isolated by the torrent that hit the Lockyer Valley with little warning on Monday, but thunderstorms and more driving rain were keeping helicopters from reaching an unknown number of other people still in danger on Tuesday morning.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite reforms put in place since the massive BP oil spill, a presidential investigating panel has concluded that the government and the oil industry still haven't done enough to avert another catastrophic accident offshore. The blowout and rig explosion last April that killed 11 workers and released more than 200 million gallons of oil from the damaged well have prompted changes in the oil industry and at the agency in charge of offshore drilling. But the national oil spill commission will suggest an even greater commitment and overhaul from Congress, the administration and oil and gas companies when it issues its final report Tuesday to President Barack Obama, said an official who was briefed on the report but not authorized to speak about it publicly.

NEW YORK (AP) — A Portuguese model was arrested on charges of second-degree murder in the slaying of a celebrity Portuguese television journalist found castrated and bludgeoned to death in a New York City hotel, police said Monday. Renato Seabra, 21, of Cantanhede, Portugal, has been hospitalized since hours after the slaying of Carlos Castro. The 65-year-old was found dead Friday evening in room 3416 of the InterContinental New York Times Square hotel that the two men had shared, police said. His nude body was covered in blood on the floor and he had been castrated. The medical examiner's office ruled Castro died from a combination of blunt impact head injuries and strangulation, according to spokeswoman Grace Burgess.

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Douglas says his tumor is gone and that he may have beaten throat cancer. In a taped interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, Douglas said he felt relieved after a "wild, six-month ride." Excerpts of the interview were released Monday ahead of its airing Tuesday on "Today." Douglas says the odds are that he has beaten the disease.

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