Declines in retail sales last month weren't as steep as in January, according to industry data released Thursday. Groceries and health products remained the bestsellers while the slipping demand for luxury items kept high-end stores struggling. Nordstrom and Saks stores experienced sales drops of 26 percent and 15.4 percent, respectively. Wal-Mart, on the other hand, said February sales rose 5.1 percent.

UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, will withhold the names of all but 300 of 47,000 US clients with accounts who didn't pay US taxes on their assets, bank executive Mark Branson told a Senate investigative panel Wednesday. Last month UBS agreed to pay the US government $780 million in fines and restitution for permitting Americans to hide assets.

Hispanic children account for more than 23 percent of kindergartners in public and private schools and about one-fifth of all K-12 pupils, according to Census data released Thursday. Minority children are projected to be in the majority in the US by 2023.

Craig Fugate, Florida's emergency manager, is President Obama's choice to take over the much-criticized Federal Emergency Management Agency, the White House said Wednesday. Fugate has earned praised for his leadership in dealing with several hurricanes.

Former top Bush administration aides Karl Rove and Harriet Miers agreed Wednesday to testify under oath before Congress, in closed depositions, about the firings of US attorneys. Lawmakers want to determine if the dismissals were politically motivated.

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