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Speaking on the second day of a White House economic conference, President Bush said "now is the time to confront Social Security" in order to deal with a projected $3.7 trillion shortfall over the next 75 years and give younger workers the ability to invest some of their contributions into personal accounts. He also promised to send Congress "a tough budget" early next year to hold the line on federal spending.

Many animal and plant species are feeling the impact of global warming, a new report released Wednesday by environmental activists claimed. A study by the Wildlife Society is the first comprehensive assessment on the subject. It specifically cited direct threats to migratory songbirds, waterfowl, polar bears, and alpine amphibians.

Time Warner Inc. agreed Wednesday to pay the US government $510 million in a settlement that will close a two-year investigation of accounting fraud allegations at the company's America Online unit.

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The California Energy Commission approved tough new standards Wednesday that will require household electronic devices such as TVs, VCRs, and DVD players to run on a stingy one to three watts. The new regulation, which governs products sold in the state, will be phased in, starting in 2006.

The return of professional baseball to Washington, D.C., appeared in serious jeopardy Wednesday when Major League Baseball declared the district's financing plan for a new waterfront stadium "unacceptable." On Tuesday, City Council determined that the mayor must find private financing to cover half the building costs.

The Federal Communication Commission voted Wednesday to allow airlines to offer high-speed Internet connections through the frequencies used by seatback phones, thus giving its approval to a cheaper option than previously allowed.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians is paying $75,000 to ship 98 buffaloes from California's Santa Catalina Island to South Dakota, where they'll live on rangelands of the Rosebud Lakota reservation. The buffaloes are descendants of a herd brought to the island to appear in a 1920s silent movie.

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