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The monthly US manufacturing index fell from 38.9 to 36.2 in November, a 26-year low, the Institute for Supply Management said Monday. It was the 12th consecutive drop in new orders. Meanwhile, woes in the home building industry led to a 1.2 percent drop in overall construction spending, the Commerce Department reported.

The Supreme Court rejected a pipeline company's appeal Monday to overturn a refusal by Connecticut regulators to grant environmental permits for a 50-mile project in Long Island Sound. The regulators believe the proposed pipeline would damage water quality, natural resources, and prime shellfish beds.

Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska attended private fundraisers in Georgia Sunday aimed at energizing conservatives in the lead-up to Tuesday's runoff election for the US Senate between incumbent Saxby Chambliss (R) and challenger Jim Martin (D). The tiebreaker is required because neither candidate crossed the 50 percent threshold in the general election. Minnesota, where a recount is under way, is the only other state with a still-unresolved Senate race.

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