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New homes sell at fastest pace in 2 years

Americans bought new homes in May at the fastest pace in more than two years. The increase suggests that a modest recovery is continuing in the U.S. housing market despite weaker job growth.

The Commerce Department said Monday that sales of new homes increased 7.6 percent in May from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000 homes. That is the best pace since April 2010, the last month that buyers could qualify for a federal home-buying tax credit.

Even with the gains, the annual sales pace is only about half the 700,000 that economists consider to be healthy.

AVIATION

FAA reversal to restore oxygen in jet restrooms

NEW YORK — Federal aviation officials will order airlines to put oxygen systems back in jet restrooms, reversing a decision last year to remove them because of fears that terrorists could use them to start fires during flights.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that restoring the oxygen systems over the next three years will “eliminate a hazard that could jeopardize flight safety.” The FAA used similar language to explain its 2011 order telling airlines to remove the systems.

The rule covers about 5,500 planes and will cost airlines $44.2 million to comply, the FAA estimates.

From wire dispatches and staff reports