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US factory orders increased by a larger-than-expected 1.3 percent in July as demand for commercial aircraft, heavy machinery, and iron and steel all posted solid gains, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

Republican John McCain raised more than $47 million in donations for his presidential campaign in August, putting him in striking distance of Democrat Barack Obama's fundraising success. Of that amount, $10 million poured in after McCain announced that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would be his running mate.

The Justice Department will not press charges against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, it said Tuesday, in a case of mishandled classified materials. Although Gonzales improperly stored documents in his home and office, he did not risk letting unauthorized people see them, his lawyers said.

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