Federal agriculture officials last week promised nearly $800 million to ranchers and farmers nationwide to combat a devastating drought wiping out crops from Florida to Arizona. Texas farmers and ranchers have lost a record $4.1 billion of crops and livestock this year, nearly double the $2.1 billion record set in 1998, economists say. Hugh Pegues of Decatur, Texas, holds a hand full of the sandy soil from a field his cattle once relied on for grass.

A teary-eyed Andre Agassi said goodbye to more than 20,000 people standing and cheering for him in Arthur Ashe Stadium Sunday. The 36-year-old tennis star received a four-minute ovation before walking off the US Open court for the last time, ending a 21-year career.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is taking the lead in a legal fight contending that tribes are exempt from federal labor laws, particularly rules regarding workers' right to unionize, because they are sovereign governments. Oral arguments will begin before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the coming months.

Detroit public schools will hold a half-day of classes Tuesday, the first scheduled day since teachers went on strike Aug. 28 amid contract negotiations still in progress as of Monday morning. The 130,000-student school district says it needs $88 million from the teachers union to balance its budget. Wayne County Circuit Judge Susan Borman ordered around-the-clock talks until the two sides reach a deal.

After three years of waiting in the aftermath of the shuttle Columbia disaster, and then another delay last week due to storms, NASA prepped the shuttle Atlantis for Wednesday's takeoff. The ship will carry essential solar panels needed to power the International Space Station's laboratories.

Bob Mathias, two-time champion in the Olympic decathlon and four-term congressman, died Saturday at his home in Fresno, Calif. He was 75. Only 17 when he captured the decathlon gold at the London Games in 1948, Mathias went on to run as a Republican in 1966, representing a district in California's agricultural Central Valley.

Hundreds of picketers protested in Hazleton, Pa., Sunday against the city's recently passed immigration package that imposes $1,000 fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants, denies business permits to companies that give them jobs, and makes English the city's official language. Officials agreed Friday to delay enforcing the law after the American Civil Liberties Union and Hispanic groups filed suit.

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