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Retail sales dipped 0.1 percent when economic woes blunted the impact of billions of dollars in government stimulus payments to US households, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. It was the first decline since a 0.5 drop in February.

Senate candidate and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (below)will be the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention Aug. 26 in Denver, the party announced Tuesday.The plum assignment is the same one that launched Barack Obama into national prominence in 2004.

A federal judge overturned the Clinton-era "roadless rule" on millions of acres of undeveloped US forestlands Tuesday. The ruling, issued in Cheyenne, Wyo., nullifies a 2001 prohibition on logging, mining, and other development on nearly a third of national forests. Environmentalists vowed to appeal the ruling.

Habitat designated as necessary for the northern spotted owl's recovery will be reduced by 23 percent across three states – Washington, Oregon, and California – the US Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday.


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