USA

The shuttle Discovery touched down at California's Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert early Tuesday, successfully marking the end of the first re-entry since the Columbia's tragic return 2-1/2 years ago. The orbiter was diverted from its home base in Florida because of thunderstorms there. NASA said no future flights will occur until a problem with foam insulation on the outside of the craft is resolved.

Jeanine Pirro, district attorney of Westchester County, N.Y., plans to announce Wednesday that she's challenging Hillary Clinton (D) for her US Senate seat next year. Pirro, a Republican, has criticized Clinton for jockeying for a presidential run and using the state as a "way station." Clinton's camp said she is concentrating on her responsibilities to New York voters.

Ethnic tensions between white and Hispanic inmates boiled over Monday at California's San Quentin State Prison, leading to a riot that injured 42 inmates, three of them seriously. The skirmish, which occurred in a medium-security dormitory-style unit, was the worst at the facility in 23 years and involved 80 inmates altogether, reports said. Fifty officers used batons and pepper spray to quell the six-minute riot.

President Bush and his economic advisers met at the Texas "White House" in Crawford, to map plans for the fall. The agenda calls for restarting discussions over the president's stalled Social Security reform proposal and pushing for the overhaul of the nation's tax code. Also Tuesday, the Federal Reserve was expected to incrementally raise interest rates yet again in order to keep a lid on inflation.

Housing prices are increasingly beyond the reach of low- and moderate-income families, according to a new report by the Center on Housing Policy, which advocates affordability. The study found the median price for an American home has risen 20 percent in 18 months to $225,000, while pay for teachers, firefighters, and other public servants in most cities remained flat or rose slightly.

The retail price for a gallon of regular gasoline climbed to a record $2.354 Tuesday, according to a survey of 60,000 stations by the AAA auto club. That's 47.6 cents higher than a year ago.

Wayne Gretzky, the National Hockey League's all-time leading scorer, was named the new coach of the Phoenix Coyotes Monday.

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