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Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean Thursday urged Florida and Michigan party officials to come up with plans to repeat their presidential nominating contests so that their delegates can be counted. The states would have to fund such do-overs. The committee stripped both states, which wanted more influence in picking a nominee, of all delegates for holding primaries earlier than permitted.

Home foreclosures continued to climb in the final quarter of last year, when 0.83 percent of all mortgages fell into foreclosure, surpassing the previous high of 0.78 percent set the prior quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Thursday.

Facing a projected operating deficit of $1 billion this year, the largest since 1995, the US Postal Service wants to explore the possibility of renting space in thousands of post offices to banks and other commercial interests, Postmaster General John Potter told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday. This could help offset revenues lost as online bill-paying and anti-junk mail efforts increase.

American fighter jets intercepted a Russian bomber Wednesday and escorted it out of an area off the Korean coast occupied by the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and its accompanying ships, US defense officials said.

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