The Commerce Department released mixed economic news Wednesday, announcing that new home sales rose 4.1 percent in August while orders for big-ticket factory goods fell for the second consecutive month. The 0.5 percent drop, which reflected decreased demand for computers. was the first back-to-back decline in more than two years.

One of the largest and longest-lasting wildfires in California history continued to burn Wednesday 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles. More than 3,500 firefighters have battled the blaze since Labor Day. It has burned 226 square miles but hasn't destroyed any occupied homes.

Delphi Corp., the largest US auto parts supplier, said Tuesday that 1,400 more union workers have elected to accept buyout offers or early retirement. Altogether, 20,000 employees or 70 percent of the workforce will exit the bankrupt company by Jan. 1.

A US district judge opted for leniency in sentencing former Enron Corp. chief financial officer Andrew Fastow to six years in prison, instead of a maximum possible 10, on Tuesday in Houston. Fastow cooperated with prosecutors in the trials of other executives whose misdeeds bankrupted the energy giant.

The House overwhelmingly approved $70 billion more for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan late Tuesday, paving the way for expected Senate and presidential approvals by the end of the week.

Congress decided to delay implementation by 17 months of a new requirement that travelers, including Americans, who enter the US over land borders with Canada and Mexico, do so with passports or tamper-proof IDs.

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