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White House Asks Newsweek to Help Repair US Image

The White House is asking Newsweek magazine to help repair damage to the U.S. image overseas caused by the magazine's now-retracted story about the Koran allegedly being desecrated at a U.S. military prison.

A White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Tuesday the Bush administration appreciates Newsweek's decision to retract the story.

He said the magazine should now explain how it got the story wrong, and should write about U.S. military policies and practices that require the Koran to be treated with respect.

Newsweek's original May 9 report said U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet in a bid to get terror suspects to talk.

That report sparked violent protests in several Muslim countries, including Afghanistan, where at least 17 people were killed.

Both the White House and Newsweek have said that extremists exploited the report to incite violence. Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said Tuesday the report has insulted the feelings of Muslims and that an apology and retraction are not enough.