USA

The sales of new homes rose 16.2 percent in April, the sharpest climb in 14 years, but the surge was largely a factor of the largest one-month drop in prices on record, the Commerce Department reported. The median price fell $28,500 to $229,100.

A four-year antidrug probe called "Operation Jacket Racket" was credited by federal authorities Wednesday with dismantling three major heroin-smuggling networks. Much of the Colombia heroin entered the US through the Calexico Port of Entry in California's Imperial Valley and was concealed in custom-made clothes.

The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emitted from energy-related sources in the US declined by 1.3 percent last year, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the Energy Department. It was the first drop in the principal "greenhouse gas" in 11 years and the biggest decline since 1990. Among the possible causes are milder weather and federal energy policies and regulations.

US military officials informed family members Wednesday that Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr. of Torrance, Calif., one of three soldiers who vanished May 11 outside Baghdad after their combat team was ambushed, was found dead in the Euphrates River. There was no word on the other two missing soldiers. The trio has been the focus of an intense search.

Felicia Dunn-Jones, an attorney who died five months after the World Trade Center's collapse, was added to the official 9/11 death toll Wednesday. She was caught in a dust cloud while fleeing. Her death is the first linked to toxics exposure.

Stanislas Meyerhoff, a member of the radical Earth Liberation Front, received a 13-year sentence Wednesday in Eugene, Ore., for committing a series of terrorist acts in Western states. A federal judge lightened Meyerhoff's potential life sentence because he provided information about his fellow arsonists, who set fires at a police station and SUV dealership, among other crimes.

An arbitration hearing in which American cyclist Floyd Landis challenged a positive drug test during his Tour de France victory ended Wednesday after nine days of testimony in Malibu, Calif. A decision on whether Landis will retain his title and avert a two-year ban from the sport may not come for months, and even then, the outcome is expected to be appealed.

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