USA

The Federal Reserve broke its two-year credit-tightening run by announcing Tuesday that the federal funds rate would remain at 5.25 percent. It was the first time since June 2004 that the central bank maintained the status quo after a series of 17 consecutive quarter-point hikes. The standpat decision means that the prime lending rate for commercial banks remains at 8.25 percent.

Roger Goodell was named Tuesday to head the National Football League, replacing commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who is retiring after 17 years on the job. Goodell, who'd risen to chief operating officer from an intern position, was considered the favorite among five finalists. "We chose to go with the one who brought us continuity," said Robert McNair, owner of the Houston Texans.

A risk-management company hired to analyze San Diego's financial woes said the city engaged in years of reckless and deliberate fiscal mismanagement. In a $20 million report presented to city council Tuesday, Kroll Inc. investigators said San Diego became an "Enron-by-the-Sea" in creating a $1.4 billion pension shortfall.

Authorities in Yuma, Ariz., charged Adan Pineda of Mexico Tuesday in the sport utility vehicle crash that killed nine illegal immigrants. Survivors claimed Pineda was the driver who attempted to elude federal agents while transporting 21 Mexicans. The accident brought the death toll from border-crossing crashes to 51 immigrants during the past 10 months.

A key ramp used to funnel traffic to Boston's Logan Airport reopened Wednesday, one of the first signs of progress since large portions of the Big Dig road network were closed after a fatal July 10 accident. Workers have been reinforcing connectors for concrete ceiling panels, some of which fell and killed a woman traveling through a tunnel that is part of the $14.6 billion urban renewal project. Other sections could take months to reopen.

About 200 lawsuits by ground zero rescue and recovery workers are expected to go forward against New York City, Newsday reported, following a judge's ruling that permits late legal claims. The workers are seeking compensation for exposure to 9/11 toxic substances.

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