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The terrorism threat level for mass transit systems across the US was raised to orange - the midpoint on the scale - after the deadly bomb explosions in London Thursday morning. The move also applies to rail lines and the US Capitol, but not to commercial aviation. The Department of Homeland Security said it had no specific indications of another impending attack on US soil, although more details were expected from Secretary Michael Chertoff, who was to begin a news conference in Washington as the Monitor went to press. The threat level has been at yellow - one below orange - since last Nov. 10.

New York Times reporter Judith Miller spent her first day in jail for refusing to divulge her confidential sources for the leaked identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame to a federal grand jury. Although Miller never published a story on the matter, she told District Court Judge Thomas Hogan in Washington: "I cannot break my word just to stay out of jail." Hogan ordered a four-month sentence unless she recants. Miller's case contrasted with that of Time magazine journalist Matt Cooper, who agreed to testify to the grand jury about the Plame case after his own source "gave me a specific ... and unambiguous waiver to speak before the grand jury."

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New applications for unemployment benefits rose last week by roughly 7,000, to what the Labor Department said was a seasonally adjusted 319,000. But that was fewer than economists had projected, and department analysts said it reflected mostly schools closing for the summer and temporary shutdowns of auto assembly plants so they can be retooled to produce next year's models.

A major new set of defects was identified in the already troubled "Big Dig" project in Boston. Officials said an inspection in May found a 1,500-foot section of the I-93 tunnel that is in worse condition than the portion that sprung a leak of groundwater last fall, backing up rush-hour traffic for miles. They said 60 more defects are in the deepest area of the tunnel, which passes under Boston Harbor, but that it remains safe to drive through. The controversial project, burdened by budget overruns and other problems, already has cost taxpayers $14.6 billion.


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