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Recording studio in hospital about more than music

Updated: 01/01/2009 - Just down the hall from the chemo infusion rooms at Texas Children's Hospital, Jalen Huckabay was about to slip into another world, away from the wearying regimen of pokes, prods and pinches she'd endured since being diagnosed with lymphoma in November.

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NYC revelers usher in '09 with cheer, optimism

Updated: 01/01/2009 - Despite months of economic gloom, revelers throughout the country welcomed the new year with merrymaking and even optimism, though some festivities fell to hard times and others were subdued.

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Man sought in Colo. bank bomb threats found dead

Updated: 01/01/2009 - A man wanted for questioning after two banks received bomb threats and suspicious packages in holiday wrapping was found dead early Thursday, police said. The threats shut down this resort town on New Year's Eve, one of its busiest nights of the year as the evacuation lasted until 4 a.m. Thursday.

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Mission accomplished for Penn St. WR Williams

Updated: 01/01/2009 - Win or lose at the Rose Bowl, senior Derrick Williams has accomplished what he set out to do when he arrived at Penn State. The Nittany Lions are winners again. Forty victories over his four seasons in Happy Valley. Four bowl games, including two BCS appearances - capped by the sixth-ranked Nittany Lions' matchup Thursday with No. 5 Southern California in Pasadena. Those four losing seasons in five years to start this decade? Now just a distant memory.

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Man says he shot car with paintballs to deter DUI

Updated: 01/01/2009 - KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) -- A man who reportedly told police he was trying to deter a friend from driving drunk by blasting the friend's windshield with paintballs wound up in jail. In the words of Kennewick, Wash., police Sgt. Ken Lattin: "This is a very creative way to prevent someone from drinking and driving, but not legal or safe."

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Study: Hawaii's pygmy killer whales stay close

Updated: 01/01/2009 - A new study of pygmy killer whales - one of the least understood marine mammal species - shows that those living off Hawaii tend to stay close to the islands and don't swim out to the open ocean. There are very few of the whales, probably less than 200 individuals, in this distinct pygmy killer whale population off the islands. The population's limited number make it more vulnerable than other whale populations to potentially harmful human behavior, including fishing and Navy sonar, said the paper published Tuesday in the journal Marine Mammal Science.

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Man sought in Colo. bank bomb threats found dead

Updated: 01/01/2009 - A man wanted for questioning after two banks received bomb threats and suspicious packages in holiday wrapping was found dead early Thursday, police said. The threats shut down this resort town on New Year's Eve, one of its busiest nights of the year as the evacuation lasted until 4 a.m. Thursday.

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South African activist Helen Suzman dies at 91

Updated: 01/01/2009 - South African anti-apartheid activist Helen Suzman, who won international acclaim as one of the few white lawmakers to fight against the injustices of racist rule, died Thursday. She was 91. Suzman, who was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, fought a long and lonely battle in the South African parliament against government repression of the country's black majority and the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela.

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Somali pirates seize Egyptian ship; Tanker saved

Updated: 01/01/2009 - Somali pirates seized an Egyptian cargo ship and its 28 crewmembers on Thursday while a Malaysian military helicopter saved an Indian tanker from being hijacked in the new year's first attacks by pirates in the dangerous Gulf of Aden. Fifteen armed pirates snatched the Egyptian vessel, called Blue Star, after the ship exited the Red Sea and entered the gulf, carrying a cargo of 6,000 tons of fertilizer, according to Egyptian Deputy Foreign minister, Ahmed Rizq.

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Taliban militants kill 20 Afghan police in ambush

Updated: 01/01/2009 - Taliban militants ambushed a group of Afghan police while they were eating lunch in a remote and dangerous part of southern Afghanistan, killing 20 officers and one of the policeman's mother, an Afghan official said Thursday. A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said two Taliban were killed and four wounded during the ambush. Ahmadi claimed 32 police were killed, but that number had not been confirmed by Afghan officials.

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Iraq takes control of Green Zone from US

Updated: 01/01/2009 - The United States handed over control of the Green Zone and Saddam Hussein's presidential palace to Iraqi authorities on Thursday in a ceremonial move described by the country's prime minister as a restoration of Iraq's sovereignty.

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Israel kills top Hamas figure, escalating campaign

Updated: 01/01/2009 - Israel assassinated a Hamas strongman Thursday in its first assault on the top leadership of Gaza's rulers, escalating a crushing aerial offensive even as it declared it was ready to launch a ground invasion. The airstrike targeted the four-story apartment building that was home to 52-year-old Nizar Rayan, ranked among Hamas' top five decision-makers in Gaza. It also killed 12 other people including two of Rayan's four wives and four of his 12 children, Palestinian health officials said. The Muslim faith allows men to have up to four wives.

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Iraqi Parliament delays vote on foreign troops

Updated: 01/01/2009 - Iraq's parliament speaker has delayed a session to approve a resolution allowing British and other non-American troops to remain in Iraq until July 2009.

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UN extends protection for Iraqi assets

Updated: 01/01/2009 - In a move sought by Iraq at a critical transition, the Security Council voted unanimously Monday to maintain U.N. protection for billions of dollars of Iraqi assets against seizure by governments, companies or individuals until the end of 2009.

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Christmas Eve services come early in Baghdad

Updated: 01/01/2009 - The Christmas Eve Mass for Baghdad's small and beleaguered Christian community started before dusk Wednesday instead of at the traditional midnight, a reflection of continued security concerns in the Iraqi capital.

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Troops in Iraq find Christmas in memories

Updated: 01/01/2009 - Army Sgt. Robin Cameron stood guard outside a once opulent Iraqi shopping mall that now serves as a small U.S. military outpost, trying not to think about what he was missing with his family on Christmas.

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US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,221

Updated: 01/01/2009 - As of Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008, at least 4,221 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

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Suspicious Packages Force Mass Evacuation In Aspen

Updated: 01/01/2009 - Authorities say they're looking for a former Aspen resident after a bomb scare effectively shut down this resort town on New Year's Eve, one of its busiest nights of the year.

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Israel Demands Monitors As Part Of A Gaza Truce

Updated: 01/01/2009 - Israel demanded international monitors as a key term of any truce with Gaza militants, as its warplanes bombed the parliament building in Gaza City Thursday and its ships attacked coastline positions of the territory's Islamic Hamas rulers.

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Kansas beats Minnesota 42-21 in Insight Bowl

Posted: 01/01/2009 - Dezmon Briscoe caught a game-record 14 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns, and Todd Reesing threw for four scores in Kansas’ 42-21 victory over Minnesota in the Insight Bowl on Wednesday.

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