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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.


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