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2 ships fight off attacks; Pirates free food ship

Updated: 04/20/2009 - Somali pirates in speedboats opened fire Monday on two cargo ships in the latest hijacking attempts in the notorious Gulf of Aden. Another band of brigands freed a food aid freighter but only after receiving a $100,000 "reward" from Somali businessmen.

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Sri Lanka's army helps thousands flee battle zone

Updated: 04/20/2009 - The army breached one of the last Tamil Tiger rebel fortifications Monday and freed thousands of trapped civilians, some fleeing through the neck-high water of a lagoon while bleeding or carrying wounded relatives.

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After IBM dalliance, Sun goes to Oracle for $7.4B

Updated: 04/20/2009 - Oracle Corp. snapped up computer server and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc. for $7.4 billion Monday, trumping rival IBM Corp.'s attempt to buy one of Silicon Valley's best known - and most troubled - companies.

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Jamaican police storm airliner to capture gunman

Updated: 04/20/2009 - A gunman forced his way though airport security onto a Canadian jet near Montego Bay, holding six crew members hostage for eight hours before police and soldiers stormed the aircraft on Monday and captured him.

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Katrina flooding victims in court to seek damages

Updated: 04/20/2009 - A coastal geologist testified Monday that he warned the Army Corps of engineers decades ago about the dangers of the shipping channel that funneled Hurricane Katrina's storm surge into New Orleans.

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Baseball averages 30,298 in 1st 2 weeks

Updated: 04/20/2009 - Major League Baseball's average attendance was 30,298 for its first 183 games over the opening two weeks of the season, a 6.9 percent drop from last year's final figure of 32,539.

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Deriba Merga, Salina Kosgei win at Boston Marathon

Updated: 04/20/2009 - Ethiopia's Deriba Merga overcame the disappointment of his Olympic fade to win the Boston Marathon on Monday, and Kenya's Salina Kosgei won the closest women's race in the history of the event. Americans took third in both races for the best U.S. finish since 1985.

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Leading economic indicators dip more than expected

Updated: 04/20/2009 - A private sector group's index of leading economic indicators fell more than expected in March, but the forecast called for the recession's intensity to ease this summer.

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Obama seeks $100M in government 'efficiencies'

Updated: 04/20/2009 - President Barack Obama on Monday ordered his Cabinet to find ways to slice spending by $100 million, but acknowledged it's a "drop in the bucket" and said there's a "confidence gap" that he needs to overcome.

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DirecTV CEO gets 2008 pay of $6.2M, down 77 pct.

Updated: 04/20/2009 - The chief executive of DirecTV Group Inc., the nation's largest satellite TV provider, received a pay package worth $6.2 million last year, down 77 percent from his 2007 compensation, according an analysis of a regulatory filing by The Associated Press.

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Earnings Preview: Yum Brands Inc.

Updated: 04/20/2009 - Yum Brands Inc. reports earnings for the fiscal first quarter on Wednesday. The following is a summary of key developments and analyst opinion related to the period.

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Venezuelan opposition leader seeking asylum abroad

Updated: 04/20/2009 - A leading opponent of President Hugo Chavez has decided to seek political asylum abroad rather than face a corruption charge in a trial he says would be stacked against him, an ally said Monday.

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Vets blame toxin in 21 polo horse deaths in Fla.

Updated: 04/20/2009 - The sudden death of 21 polo horses at a championship event in Florida may have been caused by a toxin in the animals' feed, vitamins or supplements, veterinarians said Monday.

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Clinton urges release of US journalist in Iran

Updated: 04/20/2009 - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton renewed calls on Monday for Iran to release an American journalist convicted of spying and sentenced to eight years in prison.

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Shanghai Auto Show celebrates leading US in sales

Updated: 04/20/2009 - The Shanghai Auto Show, once a venue for the West to show off its cars to a country still relying on bicycles, is now a showcase for China's own industry as it overtakes the U.S. in market size.

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Liquor company Brown-Forman to cut 250 jobs

Updated: 04/20/2009 - Liquor company Brown-Forman Corp. has announced plans to reduce its work force by about 250 employees. It's part of a cost-cutting move expected to save $15 million to $25 million in the next fiscal year.

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SC student killer's lawyer says witness harrassed

Updated: 04/20/2009 - Lawyers for a man who confessed he raped and strangled a South Carolina college student asked a judge for a mistrial Monday, arguing prosecutors harassed and intimidated a witness they hired to discuss their client's troubled past.

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Ortiz legs out triple as Red Sox top O's 12-1

Updated: 04/20/2009 - Dustin Pedroia went 4-for-6 with three run-scoring singles and David Ortiz had a two-run triple to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 12-1 win over Baltimore, completing a four-game sweep of the Orioles in the Patriots' Day game Monday afternoon.

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