USA news in brief

Compiled by Monitor staff from wire service reports

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday he expects to see some of the forces that have held back the US economy early this year to be "at least partially reversed in the near term." He predicted the rebound while speaking via satellite to an international monetary conference in South Africa. The forecast coincided with news that the nation's service sector, which includes the banking, construction, and agriculture industries, grew faster than expected in May.

Prosecutors charged eight members of California's Hmong community in Sacramento Monday with violating the federal Neutrality Act by plotting the violent overthrow of Laos's communist government. General Vang Pao, who immigrated to the US in 1975, was accused of being the mastermind, and a former California National Guard officer of being an arms broker and organizer.

A US appeals court overruled the Federal Communications Commission policy on expletives in live broadcasts Monday, calling the policy "arbitrary and capricious." Fox Television had led a challenge to invalidate an FCC conclusion that profanity blurted out on several awards shows made them indecent, even though no fines were issued.

Revenues for the American Indian gambling industry have nearly doubled in five years, according to federal figures released Monday. In 2006, 387 Indian casinos in 28 states pulled in $25 billion, as the industry's explosive growth outpaced that in Las Vegas.

The Defense Department has decided to replace four weather-forecasting satellites but not two satellites used to measure global warming, according to a confidential report obtained by the Associated Press.

Sen. Craig Thomas (R) of Wyoming, who fell ill just before the 2006 election, which he won with 70 percent of the vote, died in Bethesda, Md. Gov. Dave Freudenthal, a Democrat, will appoint a successor from one of three finalists chosen by Wyoming's GOP.

With the New Orleans police department still down 200 officers since hurricane Katrina, 300 National Guard troops will remain in the city at least through the end of the hurricane season in November.

Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh was recommended for a general discharge Monday by a military separation board in Kansas City, Mo., rather than the less-than-honorable discharge the Marine Corps had sought. A superior officer claimed Kokesh may have violated military rules by wearing his uniform during an antiwar protest despite doing so with his name and insignia removed.

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