USA

In a 4-to-3 decision, Maryland's highest court upheld a state statute that defines marriage as a union of a man and a woman. The court, however, said its decision shouldn't prevent the state legislature from providing equal rights to same-sex couples if it sees fit.

New York City received the 2007 Broad Prize for Urban Education Tuesday, the nation's largest education prize, in recognition of the overall performance and improvement of its students. The honor makes $500,000 in college scholarships available to graduating seniors. School systems in four other cities were finalists and will receive $125,000 each. They are Bridgeport, Conn.; Long Beach, Calif.; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; and San Antonio.

A 6.6 percent plunge in energy costs was a significant factor in a 1.4 percent drop in wholesale prices and a modest 0.1 percent dip in the Consumer Price Index in August, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

Backers of a bill to give the District of Columbia a voting representative in Congress vowed to keep trying Tuesday after the measure fell just three votes shy of the 60 needed for Senate passage. Since 1971, the district has had a nonvoting delegate.

President Bush said he "respectfully" disagreed with criticism made of his management of the economy in a new book by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Although Greenspan accuses the White House of racking up big budget deficits and abandoning conservative principles, Bush called the administration's fiscal record "admirable and good" during a Fox News interview.

An earth-imaging satellite, capable of zooming in on objects 18 inches across, was launched into orbit Tuesday from Van-denberg Air Force Base in California. Governments can use images to assess the damage from a natural disaster or plan escape routes.

The Homeland Security and State departments announced staff changes Wednesday aimed at improving the processing of Iraqi refugees into the US, a system that has been dogged by delays.

To help navigate the red tape required to open a restaurant in New York, the city is sponsoring a Restaurant Management Boot Camp, a program of free half-day seminars aimed at assisting would-be entrepreneurs, some of whom may need to contact a dozen agencies and acquire 50 permits.

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