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The US will face a "persistent and evolving" terrorist threat in the next several years as Al Qaeda increases efforts to plant operatives in the country to mount an attack, according to a new National Intelligence Estimate released Tuesday.

In June, industrial output rose 0.5 percent on the back of a 2.5 percent surge in automobile production, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday. The pace of factory utilization also inched up to 81.7 percent, the highest since last October.

Talks aimed at averting a possible shutdown of the docks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., are set to resume Wednesday after a brief interruption. Longshoremen at the nation's busiest port for cargo containers indicated they would honor picket lines if 750 office clerks, who handle shipping documentation and paperwork, weren't able to negotiate a new contract.

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Sen. David Vitter (R) of Louisiana apologized Monday for an undescribed "serious sin" that occurred several years ago. Vitter had stayed out of sight during the past week after the socially conservative lawmaker was linked to a Washington escort service. During a press conference in Metarie, La., with his wife, Wendy, by his side he vowed to return to work in Washington immediately

An unknown gunman was shot and killed by a Colorado state trooper Monday in a hallway outside the office of Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. (D). The man, who said he was at the Capitol "to take over state government," was being escorted out when he produced a gun and refused an order to put it down.

Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona said Monday he was certain his presidential campaign would rebound from the resignations of more staffers, including those of his communications director and press secretaries in Iowa and South Carolina. Despite also struggling to raise money, McCain said, "I can out-campaign anyone, in both the primary and general election."

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles stayed the scheduled Tuesday execution of Troy Davis for 90 days to weigh evidence that several witnesses had recanted or changed their testimony in the 1989 murder of a Savannah police officer. Rep. John Lewis (D) attended the Atlanta proceeding and said he didn't know if Davis was guilty, but that "nobody should be put to death" based on the current evidence.

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