USA

Each of America's Big Three automakers reported sharp drops in sales for May compared with a year earlier. General Motors' sales were off 28 percent, Chrysler LLC's 25 percent, and Ford's 16 percent. Honda managed to buck the trend with an 18 percent increase.

United Airlines said Wednesday it is cutting 1,100 more jobs, slashing domestic capacity, and removing 70 fuel-guzzling planes from its fleets to deal with soaring costs.

Worker productivity rose at an annual rate of 2.6 percent during the first three months of the year, faster than the government's initial 2.2 percent estimate, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.

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A bus-size Japanese space lab opened for business Wednesday after being connected the previous day to the International Space Station. The 37-foot-long module is bigger and more sophisticated than the station's other two labs.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) of New Jersey easily won nomination for a fifth term in a primary election Tuesday in which his chief rival tried to make Lautenberg's age (84) an issue. "If you count on vigor, vitality, and effectiveness, I think I rank pretty high," the veteran senator said.

In a plea deal that could reduce a potential life sentence to 20 years, Ohioan Christopher Paul acknowledged guilt Tuesday in planning terrorist attacks. He is the third man from central Ohio to plead guilty to various plots, including one to blow up a shopping mall.

Pomegranate lovers were cheered by the latest evidence of the fruit's exploding US popularity: a first offseason shipment (from India) to New York of thousands of pounds of pomegranate seeds, which sold out within a day. Domestic harvests supply stores for less than half a year. Above, a sliced pomegranate reveals its edible red seeds.

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