USA

Contract negotiators for the United Auto Workers and Chrysler LLC resumed talks Monday after making limited progress over the weekend. Meanwhile, the results of a vote on a tentative agreement between General Motors workers and the company are expected Wednesday.

As Los Angeles nears the end of the smog season, Oct. 31, regulators anticipate the city will produce its best annual air-quality performance, with the fewest number of unhealthy ozone days (78) on record, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Clean-air laws are credited with improving conditions in the smoggiest US city.

For the second straight year, American gene researchers won the Nobel Prize in medicine. Mario Capecchi of the University of Utah and Oliver Smithies of the University of North Carolina joined Britain's Sir Martin Evans Monday in sharing the prize for their work in manipulating mouse genes to study diseases.

Investigators continued their search Monday for the details and motive in a weekend shooting spree that resulted in at least seven deaths, including that of gunman Tyler Peterson, an off-duty sheriff's deputy, in Crandon, Wis. The suspect may have graduated from the same high school as those he shot at a pizza party.

The Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Boston Red Sox all swept first-round baseball playoff series over the weekend, and will be joined either by the Cleveland Indians or New York Yankees in league championship play. Colorado knocked off the Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona the Chicago Cubs, and Boston the Los Angeles Angels.

President Bush called the work of firefighters "a calling, not a job" Sunday in paying tribute to 87 firefighters who died in the line of duty last year. A plaque in their honor was added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial on the campus of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md. Above, Bush comforted a woman whose boyfriend was killed battling a blaze in Denison, Texas.

The American Planning Association cited Pittsburgh's Chatham Village, San Fran-cisco's North Beach, and Old West Austin in Austin, Texas, as among the 10 best US neighborhoods for their character, quality, and excellent planning. The complete list is at www.planning.org.

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