USA

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich ended months of speculation about his 2008 presidential aspirations by ruling out a run for the Republican nomination during a Fox News interview. Gingrich said Saturday that campaign laws prevent him from testing the waters without abandoning his American Solutions, a bipartisan organization dedicated to developing ways of tackling major national issues.

After being criticized for slow progress in erecting border fencing between Mexico and the US, the Department of Homeland Security has picked up the pace dramatically, with 70 miles of new fencing built in recent weeks, according to the Los Angeles Times. Barriers now block 145 of 700 miles designated in a security law passed last fall.

Duke University President Richard Brodhead apologized Saturday for the school's failure to be more supportive of three members of the men's lacrosse team who were wrongly accused in last year's rape scandal.

Two major California power companies said they will team with solar-power generator Ausra Inc. to build a $5 billion solar project that could produce enough electricity for almost 1 million homes – at a price comparable to that charged for fossil-fuel-generated power.

Levittown, the Long Island town sometimes called America's first suburb, celebrated its 60th anniversary Sunday.

The Smithsonian Institution's 18 museums face a backlog of $2.5 billion in construction and maintenance projects, a new Government Accountability Office report indicates. The GAO urged the world's largest museum/zoo network to consider alternatives to heavy government funding, including charging admission fees.

A Miami, Fla., program that helps gets homeless people into permanent housing and more stable living situations will be used as a national model, the Community Partnership for the Homeless announced. The Miami Model, which provides housing and a host of support services, has been credited with drastically shrinking the city's homeless population.

The Topps Meat Co. of Elizabeth, N.J., is recalling 12.7 million pounds of frozen hamburger patties possibly contaminated with E. coli bacteria. The US Department of Agriculture also suspended grinding of raw meat there after inspectors found safety inadequate at the plant.

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