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Giffords begins intense rehab

LOS ANGELES — Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose condition was upgraded from serious to good this week, has begun an intense regimen of full-time rehabilitation after a successful move between Houston medical facilities.

Although she faces a long recovery, doctors said she has so far progressed at "lightning speed," given the severity of her injury. In Houston, she has been interacting with hospital staff and following commands.

A source close to the investigation into 22-year-old Jared Loughner told the Washington Post that a review of Loughner's computers turned up Internet searches into lethal injections, solitary confinement and political assassinations in the days before the attack.

Pentagon officials support defense cuts

WASHINGTON — Top Pentagon officials on Wednesday defended Defense Secretary Robert Gates' proposed multibillion-dollar cuts in military spending in the face of tough questions from Republicans about slashing too deep and jeopardizing U.S. forces.

At the start of the arduous budget process, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn told the new GOP-controlled House Armed Services Committee that Gates' call for cuts of $78 billion "strikes the right balance for these difficult times."

The military budget would still be $553 billion in the next fiscal year, close to double the 2001 total, and that amount does not include funds for the war in Afghanistan and reduced operations in Iraq.

Meth-laced breast milk blamed in baby's death

HUMBOLDT, Calif. —A Northern California woman has pleaded not guilty to killing her 6-week-old baby by feeding him methamphetamine-laced breast milk.

Prosecutors say 26-year-old Maggie Jean Wortman of Loleta used methamphetamine and passed it to her two children while breast-feeding.

Detectives arrested Wortman last week after a two-month investigation found her son died in November due to "methamphetamine toxicity."

Wortman entered her plea Tuesday in Humboldt County Superior Court.

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