USA

Five years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States is safer but "we are not yet safe" from a significantly degraded but still dangerous Al Qaeda threat, the White House said in a 23-page report Tuesday. It cited Syria and Iran as continuing "to harbor terrorists at home and sponsor terrorist activity abroad." The report comes as President Bush is trying to help his Republican Party retain control of Congress with an American electorate weary of the Iraq war.

An estimated 75,000 people in Westchester County, N.Y., entered their fourth day with no electricity Tuesday, as Consolidated Edison workers scrambled to combat the effects of the summer's weather. About 660,000 people in Long Island, Westchester, and New York City lost power at some point Saturday as the remnants of tropical storm Ernesto showered the region with up to three inches of water. Con Edison expects to have power completely restored by Thursday.

No. 2 US oil producer Chevron Corp. says it discovered significant new oil deposits in the Gulf of Mexico's deep waters. Analysts say the find suggests there may be more oil than expected in the region, which already provides a quarter of US output. Stocks edged lower Tuesday as share prices of Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly owned oil company, fell in reaction to the discovery.

Environmental groups have won a delay in a plan to log inside a roadless area of the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. The Sierra Club and four other groups sued in June after the US Forest Service approved the logging of 5.5 million board feet of lumber and building a 200-foot driveway into the area.

Tropical storm Florence formed Tuesday in the open Atlantic, becoming the sixth named storm of the 2006 hurricane season.

About 45 people evacuated Rockland, Ill., Monday after just six inches of rain overwhelmed creeks and flooded drainage ditches, leaving parts of the city submerged. At one point, a 22-block area was impassable to vehicles, with water standing five or six feet deep, the National Weather Service says. The fire department searched more than 80 homes, carrying many of the trapped to safety.

Medicare and Medicaid chief Mark McClellan said Tuesday he will resign. No replacement was immediately named. Dr. McClellan, a physician and economist, was one of President Bush's economic advisers before taking his current post, where he oversaw the launch of the new Medicare drug program.

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