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The gross domestic product growth rate remained lethargic for a third straight quarter, rising at a 2.5 percent pace during the October-to-December period, the Commerce Department said Thursday. A slumping housing market was cited as a significant drag on growth.

President Bush called congressional Republicans to the White House Thursday as he braces for a likely veto fight with Demo-crats over separate House and Senate bills that set troop withdrawal deadlines as a condition of funding the Iraq war.

By a 426-to-0 vote, the House approved the Wounded War Assistance Act Wednesday that is intended to improve care for some of the more than 25,000 US service members wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. The legislation, which responds to concerns raised recently at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, calls for trimming red tape involved in treating disabled soldiers.

Discount retailer TJX Companies, Inc., which owns T.J. Maxx, Marshall's, and other stores, said Wednesday that information from at least 45.7 million credit and debit cards was stolen over an 18-month period. It was the first detailed disclosure of computer hacking first revealed in January.

The number of naturalized US citizens reached 12.8 million in 2005, a record, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center. The proportion of legal foreign-born residents who've become citizens rose to 52 percent, the highest in a quarter of a century.

International polar experts attending a conference in Austin, Texas, said that changing wind patterns, probably caused by global warming, among other factors, have led to "surprisingly rapid changes" in a massive, two-mile-thick, Antarctic ice shelf. Further study is needed, the scientists said, to determine the impact on sea-level rise.

Members of the Tuskegee Airmen, the black aviators who were trained as a segregated unit in Alabama during World War II, received Congressional Gold Medals during ceremonies in the Capitol Rotunda Thursday. Hundreds of Tuskegee fighter pilots flew combat missions after President Franklin Roosevelt overruled his top generals to establish the unit. Below, retired airmen Wilbur Mason and R. Val Archer left Atlanta to receive Congress's highest honor.

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