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WASHINGTON: Reid has his 3 deficit picks

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to name Sen. Patty Murray to co-chair a "super committee" charged with finding more than $1 trillion in deficit cuts this fall, a Democratic official said Tuesday. Murray will be joined by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on the panel, established last week by hard-fought legislation to increase the national debt ceiling. Reid is the first of four congressional leaders to make his picks. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will each name three for the 12-member panel.

MISSOURI: Emirates pledge school aid

The United Arab Emirates pledged Tuesday to give up to $1 million to help equip high school students in the tornado-ravaged city of Joplin with laptop computers. When the new school year begins later this month, some students will attend classes in a converted department store, but they'll have new Apple notebooks to aid their studies. Joplin High School was among the many buildings destroyed by the May 22 tornado that killed 160 people and injured hundreds of others. The gift materialized after UAE officials read an Associated Press story about the school system's struggles, said Dana Al Marashi, who heads the heritage and social affairs department at the oil-rich country's embassy in Washington. After Hurricane Katrina, the UAE donated $100 million to U.S. relief efforts.

IOWA: Perry makes GOP waves

While much of the field of Republican contenders wrangles with one another in Iowa this weekend, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas plans to steal some of their thunder with a headline-grabbing sprint through three of the states that kick off the nomination voting next winter: South Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa itself. He plans to tell South Carolina Republicans he intends to jump into the race. And a new McClatchy-Marist poll found that he's already in second place.

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