President Bush has doubled his approval rating over that of Congress by 17 points, and Americans' confidence in the future has risen to its highest level since last summer, according to results of a new Reuters/Zogby poll. Bush's standing rose to 34 percent, a 3-point increase since it was last measured in January. The poll also found a 7-point increase in the number of respondents who said they felt "very secure" in their jobs
Led by the increasing cost of food items, the Consumer Price Index rose 0.4 percent in January, the Labor Department reported. The increase pushed the most widely watched measure of inflation to 4.3 percent on an annualized basis. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported a 0.8 percent increase in housing starts last month, following a 14.8 percent decline in December. But it also said permits for future construction fell by 3 percent.
On schedule, the shuttle Atlantis landed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Wednesday morning, wrapping up a 13-day, 5 million-mile mission. NASA had sought to bring the craft home as soon as possible to clear the way for the Navy to shoot down a failed spy satellite whose tanks are full of toxic fuel. But rough seas in the Pacific, from where the interceptor missile will be fired, were making a Wednesday attempt unlikely.