USA

US industrial production fell 0.5 percent in February, the Federal Reserve reported Monday. It was the sharpest decline in four months and a much steeper drop-off than economists had forecast. In an encouraging development, the Commerce Department said the US current account deficit, the broadest measure of trade, shrank 9 percent from an all-time high of $811.5 billion in 2006 to $738.6 billion last year.

David Paterson took the oath of office as the new governor of New York Monday after his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, made his resignation official following revelations last week that he'd spent tens of thousands of dollars on prostitutes. A Democratic state senator since 1985 and the lieutenant governor for the past 14 months, Paterson is New York's first black governor and the nation's first legally blind chief executive to serve for more than a few days.

Officials investigating a deadly construction crane collapse in Manhattan said Sunday the equipment had passed an inspection only the day before the Saturday crash that killed five people and injured dozens. Rescuers continued to search for two more people believed to be trapped inside a demolished town house.

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Tiger Woods won the 64th victory of his pro golfing career in dramatic fashion Sunday by holing a 25-foot birdie putt to break a tie with Bart Bryant on the final hole of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla. He came from seven shots behind over the final two days to secure his fifth straight PGA Tour win, his third such streak. Above, Palmer (r.) presents the winner's trophy to Woods.

The US attorney's office in Los Angeles doubled its prosecutions, to 539, in fiscal year 2007 of illegal immigrants who were deported and then returned illegally, and has continued the trend this year, according to the Los Angeles Times. The effort focuses on repeat offenders who are already serving time as gang members, drug dealers, and career criminals.

The field for the NCAA men's 65-team basketball tournament was set Sunday, with North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas, and UCLA installed as the top seeds in four regionals that begin Thursday. Defending champion Florida was not selected for the playoff that leads to the Final Four in San Antonio on April 4 and 6.

As part of a public service program at their school, Girl Scouts at Woodward Academy in College Park, Ga., are sending more than 600 boxes of repackaged Girl Scout cookies to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The cookies must be delivered in nondescript cases to prevent them from being intercepted.

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