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Pet lovers protest cats on the menu in China

Updated: 12/18/2008 - While animal lovers in Beijing protested the killing of cats for food on Thursday, a butcher in Guangdong province - where felines are the main ingredient in a famous soup - just shrugged her shoulders and wielded her cleaver. "Cats have a strong flavor. Dogs taste much better, but if you really want cat meat, I can have it delivered by tomorrow," said the butcher, who gave only her surname, Huang.

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Arrests show fears of Saddam followers

Updated: 12/18/2008 - The arrests of more than 20 security officials for allegedly trying to revive Saddam Hussein's banned political party show how the Shiite-led government believes that supporters of the old regime still pose a threat - perhaps as much as al-Qaida or Iranian-backed militias.

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Mass. man gets 12-15 years for stepchild beating

Updated: 12/18/2008 - A man was sentenced Thursday to 12 to 15 years in prison for allowing a brutal beating that left his stepdaughter with a severe brain injury and put her at the center of a right-to-die case in Massachusetts.

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Sharpton takes Caroline Kennedy to lunch in Harlem

Updated: 12/18/2008 - The Rev. Al Sharpton took Caroline Kennedy to lunch Thursday at a famed Harlem soul food restaurant as she continued her quest to join her uncle in the U.S. Senate. Kennedy smiled as she and the civil rights activist made their way through a throng of media and into Sylvia's, whose walls are lined with photographs of visiting politicians including the Clintons.

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Las Vegas gets record snowfall, 3.6 inches

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Flights resumed in and out of Las Vegas, but schools and highways were closed Thursday after a record-setting snowfall coated marquees on the Strip, weighed down palm trees and blanketed surrounding mountain areas.

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Cop killer gets 1st NH death sentence in 49 years

Updated: 12/18/2008 - A jury issued New Hampshire's first death sentence in a half century Thursday to a man who fatally shot a Manchester police officer to avoid arrest two years ago.

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Lawyer: Ill. governor wiretaps illegally obtained

Updated: 12/18/2008 - A lawyer for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich told state lawmakers Thursday that the federal wiretaps at the heart of the pay-to-play allegations against his client were illegally obtained, and therefore should be kept out of any impeachment proceedings. The wiretaps are crucial to the federal charges filed against Blagojevich last week. Prosecutors say they caught the Democratic governor discussing efforts to auction off Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat and pressure a hospital executive for campaign donations.

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FedEx Truck Wrecks, Lands on Side

Updated: 12/18/2008 - A FedEx truck wrecked on Highway 40 near E 700 Thursday afternoon. No injuries were reported but the mess tied up traffic while crews cleared the area. **Pictures Included**

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Brownback Announces Retirement from Senate

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Brownback made that announcement at the Statehouse, saying he owed it to Kansans to keep his word and retire more than keeping seniority in the Senate.

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30 years transform China, but not its politics

Updated: 12/18/2008 - China marked the 30th anniversary of the start of its capitalist revolution with a speech Thursday from Communist Party leader Hu Jintao, who urged continued economic reform but said it would not lead to Western-style democracy.

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China dispatching ships to battle Somali pirates

Updated: 12/18/2008 - China said Thursday it is preparing to dispatch naval warships to join international forces battling Somali pirates, the first such far-ranging mission for the Chinese navy.

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Up to 25 Iraqis accused in Saddam party plot

Updated: 12/18/2008 - More than 20 employees of Iraq's Ministry of the Interior have been arrested on allegations that they were plotting to revive Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath party, government officials said Thursday.

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Planner of Rwandan massacres convicted of genocide

Updated: 12/18/2008 - The main organizer behind the 1994 slaughter of more than 500,000 people in Rwanda was convicted of genocide Thursday and sentenced to life in prison, the most significant verdict of a U.N. tribunal set up to bring the killers to justice.

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Fox TV producers asked to trim budgets 2 percent

Updated: 12/18/2008 - News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox Television studio has asked producers of shows such as Fox's "24" and "My Name is Earl," produced for NBC, to trim their budgets this season by 2 percent, a spokesman said Wednesday.

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Aretha Franklin to sing at Obama inauguration

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Aretha Franklin will sing, the Rev. Rick Warren will pray and more than 11,000 U.S. troops will be watching over inauguration ceremonies in case of an attack during President-elect Barack Obama's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

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'Doubt' tops SAG pack with 5 nominations

Updated: 12/18/2008 - The Catholic school drama "Doubt" led contenders Thursday for the Screen Actors Guild Awards with five nominations, including honors for Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis.

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Apple CEO Jobs absent from Macworld lineup

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Apple Inc. said Tuesday that Chief Executive Steve Jobs won't be delivering the highly anticipated presentation that usually marks the highlight of the annual Macworld computer trade show in January.

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Motorola to freeze pension plans, cut exec pay

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Motorola Inc., which has been struggling to revive its business in recent years, is freezing its pension plans and reducing executive pay in another set of cost-cutting measures.

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Scientists try to let the blind `see' fish

Updated: 12/18/2008 - As brightly colored fish dart in and out of the rocks scattered in a small aquarium, a bewildering melody follows each of their movements.

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LinkedIn founder updates resume, reclaims CEO job

Updated: 12/18/2008 - After taking a back seat for nearly two years, LinkedIn Corp. founder Reid Hoffman is reclaiming the CEO's job and bringing in former Yahoo Inc. executive Jeff Weiner to help steer the online professional network through its next phase of growth.

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