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Excluding a slight dip in orders for cars and planes, orders for US durable goods rose 2.5 percent in April, the largest gain in nine months, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

In a new memoir, former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan accuses the Bush administration of making "a decision to turn away from candor and honesty" and instead rely on a "propaganda campaign" in selling the Iraq war. The book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," will be released June 1.

Dow Chemical Co. said Wednes-day that soaring energy prices brought on by what its CEO considers a failure to develop a sound national energy policy have prompted the company to raise prices by 20 percent, beginning Sunday. The news could affect a broad swath of customers in agriculture, healthcare, and other industries.

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