Three American professors won the Nobel Prize for economics Monday based on their work in studying how game theory can help determine the situations in which markets work and others in which they don't work. Leonid Hurwicz of the University of Minnesota was cited as a pioneer in applying game theory in the 1960s, while the other two recipients – Eric Maskin of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and Roger Myerson of the University of Chicago – further developed the principles.

Despite signs that Al Qaeda's strength is waning in Iraq, US military commanders are hesitant to declare victory over the group because of strategic and political considerations, The Washington Post said Monday. Still, the Post reported that there is widespread agreement that a sharp drop in suicide bombings in recent months points to Al Qaeda's struggles.

On Sunday, California became the first state to pass a law banning baby products that contain even a trace amount of phthalate, a chemical used to soften plastics for baby bottles, teething rings, and bath toys.

Rep. David Hobson (R) of Ohio became the latest of a clutch of GOP lawmakers to announce their retirements. Hobson said he won't seek a 10th term next year although he has easily won reelection in recent years. Republican state Sen. David Austria announced his candidacy in the west-central Ohio district Monday. The state's Democratic Party is talking to several potential candidates.

With city funding, a group of archaeologists in Fresno, Calif., is using ground-penetrating radar to probe for and preserve a historic underground Chinatown district that has largely been lost or buried. In the 1800s, Chinese laborers helped build the city, which has become the home of successive waves of immigrants. Above, members of Chinatown Revitalization Inc. explore the network of tunnels.

Sen. Larry Craig (R) of Idaho said Monday he was pursuing his "constitutional rights" by filing an appeal over a judge's refusal to allow him to withdraw a guilty plea stemming from his arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting.

Fred Thompson, who entered the Republican presidential race in September, didn't appear in New Hampshire over the weekend as planned because of "scheduling conflicts." His absence prompted The New Hampshire Union Leader, the state's largest newspaper, to chide Thompson, saying he couldn't expect to win the state's pivotal early primary if he doesn't "show up."

Despite major efforts to get traffic moving Monday for thousands of commuters on Interstate 5, 30 miles north of Los Angeles, state officials said it could be months before the state's main north-south artery returned to normal after a deadly, multi-vehicle tunnel crash, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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