Feature

Fewer miles, New Orleans tally, Nixed quarter

Due to soaring gas prices, Americans drove 1.4 billion fewer highway miles this April than they did in April 2007.

Due to soaring gas prices, Americans drove 1.4 billion fewer highway miles this April than they did in April 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Since the beginning of the year, motorists have logged 20 billion fewer miles than they did last year at this time. CNN.com

The population of New Orleans, which dropped from 454,000 to 180,000 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina nearly three years ago, has been steadily increasing since then and has now passed the 300,000 mark. Local demographers say it will probably peak at around 360,000.US News & World Report

Network TV news coverage of the war in Iraq has been scaled way back this year. Almost halfway into 2008, the three network evening newscasts have devoted 181 minutes to Iraq, compared with 1,157 minutes for all of 2007.The New York Times

The world’s population will reach 7 billion in 2012, just 13 years after hitting 6 billion, according to a new Census Bureau projection. By comparison, it took thousands of years of human history before the population hit 1 billion in 1800, and it took 130 years to reach the 2 billion mark.Associated Press

For the first time, the U.S. Mint has rejected a proposed design for its commemorative quarters collection. The Mint nixed the District of Columbia’s plan to print “Taxation Without Representation” on its quarter, due out in 2009. The District does not have a vote in Congress.The American Scholar

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