AP Top News at 3:36 p.m. EST

Census Bureau Director Robert Groves announces results for the 2010 U.S. Census at the National Press Club, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010 in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
View photos
Census Bureau Director Robert Groves announces results for the 2010 U.S. Census at the National Press Club, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010 in Washington.

Republican-leaning states will gain at least a half dozen House seats thanks to the 2010 census, which found the nation's population growing more slowly than in past decades but still shifting to the South and West. The Census Bureau announced Tuesday that the nation's population on April 1 was 308,745,538, up from 281.4 million a decade ago. The growth rate for the past decade was 9.7 percent, the lowest since the Great Depression. The nation's population grew by 13.2 percent from 1990 to 2000.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted to close out debate on a new arms control treaty with Russia, setting the stage for ratification of the accord. The vote was 67-28 and was seen in part as a proxy vote for the final tally. President Barack Obama considers the treaty his top foreign policy priority in the postelection Congress.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Parliament swore in a new Iraqi government Tuesday after nine months of bitter political haggling, solidifying the grip that Shiites have held on political power since Saddam Hussein's ouster while leaving open the question of whether the country's disgruntled Sunni minority will play a meaningful role. The new government led by incumbent Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki got off to a shaky start as disagreements among coalition partners prevented al-Maliki from naming some of his more than 40 Cabinet ministers. And this fragile coalition must address enormous and pressing challenges such as the heavy cost of rebuilding from the devastation seven years of war has wrought and lingering sectarian tensions that periodically explode into violence.

MIAMI (AP) — Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the military fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can't answer basic math, science and reading questions. The report by The Education Trust found that 23 percent of recent high school graduates don't get the minimum score needed on the enlistment test to join any branch of the military. The study, released exclusively to The Associated Press on Tuesday, comes on top of Pentagon data that shows 75 percent of those aged 17 to 24 don't qualify for the military because they are physically unfit, have a criminal record or didn't graduate high school.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Federal Communications Commission has approved new rules meant to prohibit broadband companies from interfering with Internet traffic flowing to their customers. The 3-2 vote Tuesday marks a major victory for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who has spent more than a year trying to craft a compromise.

LONDON (AP) — The world's busiest international airport told infuriated passengers not to expect full service until Thursday, five days after a five-inch (13-centimeter) snow flurry turned hundreds of thousands of holiday plans into a nightmare of canceled flights and painful nights on terminal floors. Travelers' anger boiled over into politics as Britain's prime minister offered to put troops on snow-clearing duty. Europe's top transport official threatened tougher regulation of airports unable to cope with unusually wintry weather.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rescuers pulled motorists from swamped cars and found hikers trapped by a swollen creek, as Pacific storms dumped more rain Tuesday on saturated California and forecasters warned of a likely intensification before it all ends. The storms have affected almost the entire state since they began Friday, dumping moisture from far Northern California south to San Diego. More than 12 inches of rain have fallen in parts of the Santa Monica Mountains in the south, and 13 feet of snow has accumulated at Mammoth Mountain ski resort.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican on Tuesday sought to clarify the pope's controversial comments about condoms and HIV, saying he by no means suggested condom use could be condoned as a means of avoiding pregnancy. The Vatican's moral watchdog, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a statement Tuesday saying some commentators had misunderstood and misrepresented the pope's remarks in a book-length interview released last month entitled "Light of the World."

NEW YORK (AP) — The producers of the troubled "Spider-Man" musical on Broadway said they have enacted new safety measures ordered by the government and will resume performances on Wednesday night. A spokesman for "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark," Rick Miramontez, said producers met with federal and state labor officials and the Actors' Equity Association on Tuesday to discuss additional safety measures after a performer doing an aerial stunt fell about 30 feet. He said the measures will be enacted immediately but did not immediately say what changes the show would make.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lindsay Lohan is under investigation for an alleged misdemeanor battery against a female staffer at a rehab facility where the actress is receiving treatment, authorities said Tuesday. Riverside County sheriff's Deputy Herlinda Valenzuela said officers responded to a Betty Ford Center facility in Palm Desert on Dec. 12 shortly after 1 a.m. for an incident involving Lohan.