Four Midwestern governors asked President Bush to lower the matching funds their states must put up to qualify for federal assistance due to the damage from flooding. Heavy new rains fell on northern Missouri Wednesday, and a railroad bridge collapsed in Iowa as a train was crossing it.
Orders for durable goods remained flat last month, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. It said demand for computers and aircraft offset those for automobiles, building materials, and other products. The durable goods index fell 1 percent in April and 0.2 percent in March.
Through a spokesman, former President Clinton appeared to endorse the candidacy of his wife's opponent for the White House, Barack Obama (D). In a one-sentence e-mail to Reuters, aide Matt McKenna wrote that Clinton "is obviously committed to doing whatever he can" to ensure an Obama victory. US Sen. Hillary Clinton halted her campaign for the Democratic nomination June 7.
US Rep. Chris Cannon (R) of Utah, one of the most conservative members of Congress, lost his bid for a seventh term Tuesday night. He was defeated in the state's GOP primary by former Brigham Young University football player Jason Chaffetz, who has pledged to be even more conservative, especially on the issue of immigration.
An angry employee went on a shooting spree after an argument with his supervisor at a plastics plant in Henderson, Ky., early Wednesday, killing five co-workers and then himself. It wasn't immediately clear whether the supervisor was among the dead. The plant is a branch of Augusta, Ga.-based Atlantic Plastics Inc.
For his work in turning ideas into environmentally friendly products, chemistry Prof. Joseph DeSimone was named the winner of the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize Wednesday. His process involves substituting carbon dioxide for acids that can pose risks to health and the environment. DeSimone holds appointments at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and at North Carolina State.
In a new blow to the legacy of disgraced former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D), the state's Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of all but two claims against Richard Grasso, the ex-chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. As attorney general in 2004, Spitzer sought to force Grasso to give up compensation worth $187.5 million, calling it exorbitant.