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By Compiled from wire service reports by Ross Atkin / March 29, 2007



The Interior Department said Tuesday that it is considering a major overhaul in its implementation of the 34-year-old Endangered Species Act. A draft of possible changes suggests using a more precise timetable than "in the foreseeable future" to determine if some species should be listed as endangered. States also might be given more power over species recovery plans.

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Orders for big-ticket manufactured goods rose 2.5 percent in February, a modest rebound from the 9.3 plunge they took in January, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Car and commercial aircraft sales were cited as factors in the recovery.

About 100 migrants, apparently from Haiti, reached shore north of Miami Wednesday in a rickety sailboat. One person perished at sea and the Coast Guard and local authorities searched for other possible missing persons.

ITT Corp., the leading manufacturer of night-vision equipment for the US military, entered a guilty plea Wednesday the day after agreeing to a $100 million penalty for sharing classified information about the technology with China and other countries. Although the Homeland Security Department issued a statement that said placing profits in front of national security was unacceptable, ITT contends that the key information about its night-vision goggles remains secure.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Wednesday he doesn't believe the economy will slip into recession and rejected the notion raised by his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, that the economic expansion, which started in 2001, could be running out of steam.

The largest-ever study of commercials aimed at children indicates that 40 percent of such food ads are for candy, snacks, and fast foods, researchers for the Kaiser Family Foundation said Tuesday. They believe the study could buttress voluntary guidelines 10 major food and drink makers agreed to adopt in November to promote healthier diets and lifestyles in children's ads.

The political arm of the Na tional Organization of Women on Wednesday officially endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) of New York for president in 2008. NOW is one of the oldest and best-known feminist advocacy groups in the country.

The National Park Service submitted a proposal Tuesday that would allow 720 snowmobiles per day to use Yellowstone National Park, which is located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Environmentalists sought an outright ban of the vehicles from the park, but administrators said that snowmobile engines have been made quieter and less-polluting.

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