USA

Two US astronauts onboard the International Space Station took part in the fourth spacewalk in a week on Sunday, following major failures with the Russian computer network. The failures, which have since been reported as repaired, had threatened the space station's ability to orient itself and produce oxygen, and brought up the possibility that the crew would have to abandon the ship. The top priority for the spacewalkers was to activate a rotating joint that allows solar wings to track the sun, as well as to install a debris shield, cameras, and a computer network cable between the Russian and American sides of the space station.

The oil industry is curtailing previous plans to expand refineries by approximately 10 percent following Congressional and Executive pushes to increase the use of ethanol. Oil companies now foresee a six percent expansion, although this has raised concerns that the industry is attempting to drive up profits by maintaining a limited output capacity. Reduced refinery capacity due to outages has largely contributed to soaring gasoline prices recently, despite stable or declining oil prices.

Political unknown Tom Leppert became the new mayor of Dallas after defeating openly gay city councilman Ed Oakley by a wide margin in a runoff election on Saturday. The retired CEO of Turner Corp. beat Oakley by more than 13,000 votes, thereby securing the highest office in the nation's ninth-largest city. The two spent slightly over a combined $1.9 million on their campaigns, making it the most expensive mayoral race in Dallas history.

President George W. Bush criticized the Democrats' handling of the federal budget as "irresponsible," and threatened to veto any spending bills that he deems excessive. Claiming to have the support of at least 147 Republicans in the House of Representatives, Bush assured that a veto would be sustained. Congressional Democrats agreed on a budget plan for $954 billion, more than $21 billion more than the White House requested.

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