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New-home sales fell 10.2 percent in January and median prices by 9.9 percent, both records, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The sales falloff was the worst since records were first kept in 1963, with the median price dropping to $201,100.

Before sending alleged terrorist detainees to other countries, the US will get assurances that prisoners would not be tortured or have their human rights violated, CIA Director Leon Panetta told reporters Wednesday. He also said the focus should be on handing over prisoners to their home countries or to places where they have been charged.

As part of ongoing efforts to stem the violent Mexican drug trade within US borders, federal agents arrested 50 suspects in Maryland, Minnesota, and California Wednesday. Altogether, 750 suspects have been arrested in a 21-month operation.

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A factory raid in Bellingham, Wash., this week by US immigration agents was conducted without the prior knowledge of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, she told Washington lawmakers Wednesday. The secretary wants answers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the arrest of 28 illegal immigrants (mostly Mexicans). The White House aims to press employers more than laborers in its work-site enforcement efforts.

Golfer Tiger Woods returned to competition after an eight-month, knee-surgery-related
absence by winning a first-round match Wednesday against Brendan Jones in the Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana, Ariz. Above, he blasted out of a bunker. He began his round with a birdie and an eagle.

The next launch of space shuttle Discovery, delayed a month by problems with hydrogen gas valves, will occur March 12 if all goes well, NASA said Wednesday. Otherwise, it will have to wait until April.

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