Doctors detail

senator's therapy

WASHINGTON - Sen. Tim Johnson (D., S.D.) is taking part in three hours of physical, occupational and speech therapy daily, and his tracheotomy tube has been removed from his throat, doctors said yesterday.

Johnson, 60, who suffered a brain hemorrhage Dec. 13, has been working with parallel bars and participating in speech therapy, his office said in a statement.

That includes strengthening exercises to gain mobility on his right side, said Philip Marion, head of rehabilitation at George Washington University Hospital. His recovery is likely to take several months. - AP

Iranian exiles rip deniers' summit

NEW YORK - In a statement to be published next week, more than 100 Iranian activists outside that country have condemned its December conference questioning the Holocaust.

The statement blasts Iran's government and pays homage to victims of the Nazi regime. The activists voiced frustration over the relative silence on the subject from the Iranian diaspora. The statement is to appear in the New York Review of Books.

It said the activists signed notwithstanding their "diverse views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." The signers include Azar Nafisi, author of best-seller Reading Lolita in Tehran, who said: "I thought it was inappropriate to use the Holocaust as a political issue."- AP

Classmate, 15, held

in stabbing death

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - A boy, 15, was stabbed to death yesterday in a high school hallway in this affluent Boston suburb, and a classmate was charged with murder after blurting out, "I did it, I did it," authorities said. Investigators would not comment on a motive.

John Odgren, 16, pleaded not guilty in the killing of James Alenson at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High and was jailed without bail. His attorney, Jonathan Shapiro, said Odgren has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, and has taken medications for many years.- AP

Elsewhere:

A federal judge said yesterday that he likely would allow NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell's notes to be used in the CIA leak trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, setting up another potential fight between journalists and the court in the case.

Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida was elected yesterday as general chairman of the Republican National Committee. He challenged the party to convince voters that the GOP had "answers to their everyday problems."

Valerie Moore, 47, a casino cook accused of setting a Reno hotel fire Halloween night that killed 12, pleaded guilty to all charges yesterday in a deal that spares her the death penalty.

A Hilton hotel near Dulles International Airport was closed for a top-to-bottom scrubbing after 15 employees and more than 100 guests were sickened by the highly contagious norovirus, a hotel spokesman said.

Clara Harris, who killed her cheating husband in 2002 in suburban Houston by mowing him down with her car in a jealous rage, was ordered yesterday to pay $3.75 million to her in-laws.