White House Counsel

Chosen for Supreme Court

President Bush nominated Harriet Ellan Miers, his White House counsel and former personal attorney, to the Supreme Court, choosing a woman who broke barriers in the male-dominated Texas legal world but who brings no judicial experience or constitutional background to her new assignment.

Bush announced his choice for the nation's 110th justice shortly before the court opened its new term under newly installed Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. In Bush's nationally televised statement, he simultaneously introduced Miers and defended her legal resume, which came under immediate attack from some conservative groups.

Bush said Miers, who would succeed Sandra Day O'Connor, would strictly interpret the Constitution and not legislate from the bench.

The White House appeared to be seeking a smooth confirmation process, bypassing candidates with more established conservative bona fides at a time when Bush is beset with political problems including the Iraq war and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

But there was widespread dissent among Bush's usual allies on the right, who questioned whether the 60-year-old former corporate lawyer possessed the distinguished qualifications and conservative credentials they are looking for in a court nominee.

Advocates on the left and their allies in the Senate also urged caution, pronouncing Miers's judicial philosophy and constitutional views a mystery.

-- Michael A. Fletcher

Nobel Prizes Awarded

In Four Categories

* Two Australian scientists, J. Robin Warren and Barry J. Marshall, won in Physiology or Medicine for discovering that a common bacterium -- not stress -- causes most ulcers.

* Two Americans and a German won in Physics for pioneering research in the behavior of light and its use in creating measuring techniques accurate enough to build clocks of unprecedented precision and to probe the structure of atoms. Harvard University's Roy J. Glauber, 80, won half of the $1.3 million prize for developing a mathematical framework based on quantum physics to describe the behavior of particles of light known as photons. Theodor W. Haensch, 63, of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, and John L. Hall, 71, of the University of Colorado and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, split the other half for building laser tools and measuring the frequency of light with what are now 15 decimal points of precision.

* Two Americans and a French scientist won in Chemistry for discoveries that make it possible to create synthetic substances more easily, cheaply and cleanly for drugs, plastics and chemicals used in everyday life.

Robert H. Grubbs, 63, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Richard R. Schrock, 60, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and Yves Chauvin, 74, of the French Petroleum Institute in Rueil-Malmaison, France, will share the award.

* Mohamed ElBaradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog agency he heads, won the peace prize. The Bush administration once sought to oust ElBaradei, a long-standing critic of the president's decision to go to war in Iraq. The Nobel committee cited ElBaradei as "an unafraid advocate" for nuclear nonproliferation "at a time when the threat of nuclear arms is again increasing."

Senate Votes for New Limits

On Interrogation Rules

The Senate defied the White House and voted to set new limits on interrogating detainees in Iraq and elsewhere, underscoring Congress's growing concerns about reports of abuse of suspected terrorists and others in military custody.

Forty-six Republicans joined 43 Democrats and one independent in voting to define and limit interrogation techniques that U.S. troops may use against terrorism suspects, the latest sign that alarm over treatment of prisoners in the Middle East and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is widespread in both parties. The White House had fought to prevent the restrictions, with Vice President Cheney visiting key Republicans in July and a spokesman repeating President Bush's threat to veto the larger bill to which the language is now attached: a $440 billion military spending measure.

-- Charles Babington

and Shailagh Murray

Bird Flu Strain Resembles Virus

That Killed Millions in 1918

The strain of avian influenza virus that has led to the deaths of 140 million birds and 60 people in Asia in the past two years appears to be slowly acquiring genetic changes typical of the "Spanish flu" virus that killed 50 million people nearly a century ago, researchers said.

How far "bird flu" virus has traveled down the evolutionary path to becoming a pandemic virus is unknown. Nor is it certain that the much-feared strain, designated as influenza A/H5N1, will ever acquire all the genetic features necessary for rapid, worldwide spread.

Nevertheless, the similarities between the Spanish flu virus of 1918 and the H5N1 strain slowly spreading through Asia provide unusually concrete evidence of how dangerous the newer virus is. At least four of its eight genes now contain mutations seen in the deadly strain that circled the globe during and after World War I.

-- David Brown

Second DeLay Indictment

Raises New Charges

A Texas grand jury indicted Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) for alleged involvement in money-laundering related to the 2002 Texas election, raising new and more serious allegations than the conspiracy charge lodged against the former House majority leader last month.

The new indictment followed by hours a motion by DeLay's Texas legal defense team Monday to quash last month's charge on the grounds that the Texas prosecutor in charge of the case lacks authority to bring it.

Later that day, a different grand jury -- which had no prior involvement in the case -- brought the new charges.

DeLay, who had earlier accused the prosecutor -- Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle -- of partisan zealotry, issued a statement saying that Earle "is trying to pull the legal equivalent of a 'do-over' since he knows very well that the charges he brought against me last week are totally manufactured and illegitimate."

One count of the new indictment accuses DeLay of conspiracy to commit money laundering. It says he agreed with one or more associates to launder $190,000 in corporate contributions through an arm of the Republican National Committee in Washington, allowing the funds to be passed illegally into the election campaigns of Republican candidates in Texas. Texas law prohibits the use of corporate money in political campaigns.

The other new count alleges that DeLay and the two associates "did knowingly, conduct, supervise, and facilitate" the transfer of the $190,000 to Washington and back to Texas in violation of the state's money-laundering statutes. Last week's conspiracy charge, in contrast, involved the state's election law, and it was that linkage that DeLay's attorneys challenged.

-- R. Jeffrey Smith