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The White House said Thursday it was confident the U.S. government would recoup all the funds it had invested in General Motors to help the car maker through its financial troubles.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs spoke a day after GM finalized terms for a stock offering of about $13 billion to repay a controversial taxpayer-funded bailout and reduce the U.S. Treasury to a minority shareholder.

“The [initial public offering], I think, is going to begin doing a couple of things,” Mr. Gibbs said. “One, reduce our stake in General Motors as a company, and as we move forward, begin to recoup the money that we invested in saving those jobs throughout the Midwest.”

Asked whether he was confident all taxpayer money would be recovered, Mr. Gibbs said: “Yes.”

“First and foremost, you’ve seen pretty strong sales figures [from GM], which I think are encouraging,” he said.

NEW YORK

Stevens voices mosque support

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said Thursday that Americans should be tolerant of plans to build an Islamic center and mosque near the site of the World Trade Center in New York.

The 90-year-old Mr. Stevens said it is wrong to lump all Muslims with the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks that killed 3,000 people. “Guilt by association is unfair,” he told a Japanese-American group in Washington.

The center’s location two blocks north of where the Twin Towers once stood has upset some relatives of Sept. 11 victims and stirred nationwide debate and angry demands that it be moved. Critics say the site of mass murder by Islamic extremists is no place for an Islamic institution, while supporters of the center say religious freedom should be protected.

“We should never pass judgment on barrels and barrels of apples, just because one of them may be rotten,” said Mr. Stevens, who left the court in June. He commented on an issue of public debate in a way he most likely would have avoided had he still been serving as a justice.

JUSTICE

BCS investigation being discussed

Utah’s attorney general met with Justice Department officials this week to discuss a possible federal investigation into college football’s Bowl Championship Series.

Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is investigating the BCS for possible antitrust violations and is hoping to get the Justice Department to do so as well.

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