USA

President Bush signed his $350 billion tax-cut package into law, in a White House ceremony. Among other provisions, the measure caps taxes on investor dividends and capital gains at 15 percent for five years and authorizes advance refunds of $400 per child to families. Bush pressed for the cuts - originally seeking $726 billion - to fuel economic and job growth. Critics, mostly Democrats but also some GOP senators, warn it could add to a deficit that's expected to surpass $300 billion this year. Bush OK'd the largest increase in the national debt limit Tuesday, to almost $7.4 trillion.

Disparaging Bush's handling of the economy, presidential hopeful Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D) of Connecticut said the administration has "pursued a Flintstones agenda in a Jetsons world." In remarks released to the news media before a scheduled speech at the University of California, San Diego, Lieberman vowed, if elected, to promote 3 percent annual growth in productivity. The rate was 4.8 percent last year.

A suspect in the deaths of at least five women in Louisiana was being returned Wednesday from Atlanta, where he was arrested by police. At a court hearing, Derrick Todd Lee said he would not fight extradition. Authorities say DNA samples link Lee to five slayings and that he's a suspect in two other cases.

In the biggest drop in seven months, factory orders for durable goods - items meant to last at least three years - fell 2.4 percent in April, the Commerce Department reported. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders were down 1.2 percent, near the 1 percent dip economists anticipated.

An Army reservist who refused the anthrax vaccine was found guilty of disobeying an order by a military panel at Fort Drum, N.Y. The Defense Department considers the vaccine safe, but Pvt. Kamila Iwanowska cited concerns about its long-term effects, especially on her ability to bear children, for declining to be treated when she was called for deployment in January.

A flood watch was in effect for three Florida counties where more than nine inches of rain fell Tuesday, The Miami Herald reported. The downpours flooded roads and halted flights at Fort Lauderdale's airport.

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