Despite huge rebates and low-interest loans, overall US auto sales inched up only 5 percent in February while continuing to hover near historic lows, according to new industry figures. Sales volume fell off 41 percent in a year-to-year comparison, and even last month's bestselling vehicle, Ford's F-series pickup truck, saw sales drop 55 percent from the same month in 2008.

Washington State's new Death With Dignity assisted-suicide law, which voters approved in November, takes effect Thursday. The measure allows individuals diagnosed as terminally ill and with less than six months to live to ask their doctors to prescribe lethal medication. Many physicians are expected to refuse on principle. Oregon is the only state with a similar law.

A series of bad decisions led to a military jet crash that killed four people in a San Diego residential neighborhood Dec. 8, the Marine Corps said Tuesday. The pilot, whose actions are under review, ejected safely. Thirteen other military members have been disciplined for errors, including ignoring a faulty fueling system.

The Coast Guard called off a three-day search Tuesday for three men missing from a capsized boat in the Gulf of Mexico. The lone survivor, out with friends on a fishing trip, managed to stay with the vessel in stormy seas. Among the missing were two NFL players.

A $410 billion spending bill expected to receive the president's signature won Senate approval Tuesday despite efforts by Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) to strip it of an estimated 8,500 earmarks.

A third of Americans under age 65 had no health insurance at some point during the past two years, the advocacy group Families USA reported Wednesday. Its figures exceed government estimates.

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts has been selected to receive an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth for his service to US-British relations and to Northern Ireland. Eighty-five Americans have been so honored since 1952, including Steven Spielberg and Bill Gates.

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