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General Motors Corp. reported the largest-ever annual loss for an auto company Tuesday ($38.7 billion in 2007) and said it will offer buyouts to all 74,000 of its US hourly workers represented by the United Auto Workers. The new round of buyouts is aimed at making significant savings in labor costs by hiring lower-paid help.

The Treasury Department said Tuesday it has enlisted six major lenders, including Bank of America and Citigroup, to assist at-risk homeowners in working out more affordable loan terms. The plan, called Project Lifeline, will suspend foreclosures for 30 days and help people with high-cost subprime loans and others whose mortgages are 90 days or more past due. Meanwhile, to combat the serious credit crisis, the Federal Reserve said it auctioned $30 billion in funds to commercial banks at an interest rate of 3.010 percent.

Ten astronauts were to hook up power and data cables Tuesday inside the 23-foot Columbus lab, Europe's new addition to the International Space Station. On Monday, the $2 billion lab was moved out of the payload bay of the Atlantis shuttle and docked with the station by two spacewalkers.

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If current population trends continue, by 2050 non-Hispanic whites would constitute 47 percent of the total US population, the Pew Research Center said Monday. By then, a center study concluded, 1 in every 5 Americans will be a foreign-born immigrant, compared with 1 in 8 in 2005.

A private team of firefighting specialists was scheduled to arrive in Port Wentworth, Ga., Tuesday to help put out a sugar refinery fire that killed six workers. The fire burned more deeply in the plant's remains than first suspected. Temperatures of molten sugar within storage silos, one of which blew up Feb. 7, were reduced from as high as 4,000 degrees F. to 2,800 degrees F. on Monday, but unstable conditions complicated the search for two missing workers.

Six colleges and universities received Presidential Awards for their outstanding community service at this week's annual meeting of the American Council on Education in San Diego. Ohio's Otterbein College, the University of Colorado, and the University of Pennsylvania were recognized for their general service, while Hawaii's Chaminade University, Syracuse University, and the University of Redlands (Californiia) were honored for serving disadvantaged youth.

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