USA

In response to falling energy prices, the wholesale rate of inflation fell 1.6 percent in October, tying a record decline set in October 2001, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. The drop-off follows a 1.3 percent dip in September. Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, sank less, but its 0.9 percent decline was still the largest for one month in 13 years.

Senate Democrats elected Harry Reid of Nevada as US Senate majority leader Tuesday and Dick Durbin of Illinois as assistant majority leader. Reid has served the past two years as minority leader. Senate Republicans are to choose their leaders Wednesday.

Farmers Branch, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, on Monday became the first community in the Lone Star State to adopt tough anti-immigration measures like those considered, passed, or rejected in 50 other municipalities nationwide. While protesters gathered at City Hall, City Council members unanimously approved fines for landlords who rent to illegal immigrants. They also established English as the city's official language and granted permission to local authorities to check the immigration status of suspects in police custody.

In a letter replying to legal actions taken by the American Civil Liberties Union, the CIA has acknowledged the existence of two documents that guide aggressive interrogations of suspected terrorists, The Washington Post reported. Until now, the CIA has denied that it had such documents, which are still considered too sensitive to declassify.

House Republicans said they intend to bring up a measure again Wednesday that would normalize trade relations with Vietnam, one of the fastest-growing markets in Southeast Asia. The legislation received an unexpected rebuff Monday, but could be passed before President Bush meets with Asia-Pacific leaders at an economic conference in Hanoi Saturday and Sunday.

The chief executives of the Big Three automakers (Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford) sat down with Bush Tuesday to discuss trade issues, their opposition to a federal bailout of their struggling industry, and the high costs of doing business. All three companies spend more per car on employee healthcare than they do on steel.

Stung by the collapse of efforts to build a new football stadium, San Francisco announced Monday that it was abandoning its bid to host the 2016 Olympics. That leaves Los Angeles and Chicago as the only US candidates in the selection process, which culminates in 2009.

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