The government's final attempt to revive the Child Online Protection Act was turned down by the US Supreme Court Wednesday. The high court agreed with lower-court rulings that the law is unconstitutional and that various screening technologies and parental-control tools exist to protect children from objectionable sexual content. In an unrelated case, the court unanimously sided with the parents of a Massachusetts schoolgirl who'd been prevented from bringing a sexual-harassment suit involving incidents on a school bus.
Authorities said divers hunting for a missing jet engine in the Hudson River would focus Wednesday on an object sonar detected the day before. The object appeared to be roughly the size of the engine that broke off US Airways Flight 1549 last week during a splash landing minutes after takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport. Examining the engine is considered key in determining how the plane's power conked out after hitting a flock of birds.
A second failure by Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) of Illinois to meet a deadline for addressing an impeachment charge against him was taken as a "not guilty" plea by the state Senate, a spokesman said Tuesday. If he had formally filed answers to the corruption charge, it conceivably could have been dismissed. As it is, the Senate expects to open a trial Monday to determine whether the governor abused his power.
Former President George W. Bush returned to Texas Tuesday evening, where about 25,000 people greeted him at the Midland airport and another 3,000 at Waco airfield as he journeyed to his ranch in Crawford. "I come home with my head held high," he said. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush plan eventually to settle in a north Dallas neighborhood.
President Obama ordered a halt Tuesday to all pending regulations made by his predecessor until a review is completed of a host of new regulatory proposals made in the waning days of the Bush administration. Bush acted similarly in taking the reins from Bill Clinton in 2001.
For the first time, Toyota wrested the lead in annual vehicle sales from General Motors by selling 616,000 more cars and trucks worldwide in 2008. Although Toyota's sales fell 4 percent to 8.972 million vehicles, GM's dropped more (11 percent).
Bank stocks tumbled badly Tuesday amid mounting concerns that Washington's bailout efforts were stalling. Even the largest banks were affected, with Bank of America shares plunging 29 percent and Citigroup's 20 percent.
The US military said Wednesday that it is investigating an Afghan media report that a coalition operation may have resulted in more than two dozen civilian casualties. The Afghan government said only militants were killed in the raid.