Florida officials continued to search Wednesday for an explanation of the outages that briefly cut power to 2 million to 3 million people, mostly in the southeast portion of the state, the day before. A substation glitch cited in the incident shouldn't have caused such a widespread blackout.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday that the US "economic situation has become distinctly less favorable." His assessment was widely viewed as a signal that the central bank will again lower interest rates when it meets March 18.

New homes sales fell 2.8 percent in January to the most sluggish they've been in nearly 13 years, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff, told Congress Tuesday that the Army aims to shorten combat tours in Iraq from 15 months to a year this summer.

Los Angeles International Airport, which has the nation's poorest runway/taxiway safety record, announced Tuesday plans to install stoplight-style equipment "to help when human judgment fails."

Contaminants thought to ride on air currents from Europe and Asia are raining down on national parks in remote parts of the West and Alaska, according to a six-year federal study released Tuesday.

Barnes & Noble chairman Leonard Riggio participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday to build $20 million of new homes for displaced low-income residents of New Orleans, in one of the largest philanthropic projects since hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans Mission has also built a barracks-style tent to accommodate a growing homeless population, which has doubled to 12,000 since Katrina. Above, project director Lou Banfalvi inspects the facility.

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