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US urging calm over possible Pakistan troop moves

Updated: 12/26/2008 - U.S. military leaders have been urging both India and Pakistan to exercise restraint in the wake of the deadly Mumbai attacks that many believe originated with Pakistan-based militants.

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Lawyer: Zimbabwe activist held in notorious prison

Updated: 12/26/2008 - A Zimbabwean peace activist has been traced to a notorious maximum security prison despite a court order that she be taken to hospital, a leading human rights lawyer said Friday.

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Lebanon festive for now, but tough issues ahead

Updated: 12/26/2008 - Businessman George Jabra isn't certain the stability Lebanon has enjoyed for more than six months is going to last. Still, he took a chance and opened up a new restaurant on a Beirut hilltop, betting on the revival of good times sweeping the country once known as the Paris of the Middle East.

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British conjoined twin dies

Updated: 12/26/2008 - Faith Williams, the month-old conjoined twin who survived a lengthy surgery to separate her from her sister, died on the afternoon of Christmas Day, London's Great Ormond Street Hospital said.

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China targets pirates in groundbreaking mission

Updated: 12/26/2008 - Chinese warships headed toward Somali waters Friday to combat piracy, the first time the communist country has sent ships on a mission that could involve fighting so far beyond its territorial waters.

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GM sues bankrupt supplier for access to parts

Updated: 12/26/2008 - General Motors Corp. is suing a bankrupt automotive supplier for immediate access to specialized parts and equipment, arguing that a delay would hamper the launch of its new Chevrolet Camaro, disrupt assembly operations and cause millions of dollars in damages it can ill afford.

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Writer recalls truth, fiction of `Usual Suspects'

Updated: 12/26/2008 - The story line on "Valkyrie" has focused on the "Tom Cruise-as-Nazi" angle, but it's also a notable regrouping of the two minds behind one of the most beloved movies of the last 15 years.

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Stocks mixed after GMAC lifeline, retail sales dip

Updated: 12/26/2008 - Wall Street barely budged in light post-holiday trading Friday after the finance arm of General Motors got a government lifeline, but dreary holiday spending readings dimmed the chance of a year-end rally.

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Southeast Asia remembers tsunami on anniversary

Updated: 12/26/2008 - Southeast Asia's tsunami-ravaged coral reefs have bounced back with surprising speed, according to a study released Friday, four years after the deadly waves hit.

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For Obama, huge challenges vs. big assets

Updated: 12/26/2008 - Barack Obama will inherit two wars and the worst economic conditions in three generations when he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20. Ironically, that challenge might be a blessing for the president-elect - unemployment is so high and consumer confidence so low that even modest improvements will let him claim progress.

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Kennedy, in Senate bid, hasn't shared finances

Updated: 12/26/2008 - At this time last year, Caroline Kennedy was promoting "A Family Christmas," her collection of essays that featured the memory of her father letting her use the White House switchboard to call Santa.

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Storm blankets West with snow, ice glazes Midwest

Updated: 12/26/2008 - Yet another snowstorm pummeled parts of the West on Friday, snarling post-holiday traffic and darkening lights on Christmas trees, and freezing rain covered some Midwest highways with a dangerous sheet of ice.

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Boy Scouts see Hispanics as key to boosting ranks

Updated: 12/26/2008 - As it prepares to turn 100, the Boy Scouts of America is honing its survival skills for what might be its biggest test yet: drawing Hispanics into its declining - and mostly white - ranks.

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Cash-strapped states cut juvenile justice programs

Updated: 12/26/2008 - State budget cuts are forcing some of the nation's youngest criminals out of counseling programs and group homes and into juvenile prisons in what critics contend is a shortsighted move that will eventually lead to more crime and higher costs.

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Fla. woman claims 'Merry Christmas' got her fired

Updated: 12/26/2008 - A Christian woman claims she was fired from her job because she greeted callers with "Merry Christmas," but the vacation rental company says it's no Scrooge and the woman is just a disgruntled employee.

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Amazon says 2008 Holiday Season was 'Best Ever'

Updated: 12/26/2008 - Amazon.com Inc. said Friday that the 2008 holiday season was the online retailer's "best ever," with more than 6.3 million items ordered and 5.6 million units shipped during its peak day on Dec. 15.

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Sultry `Santa Baby' singer Eartha Kitt dies at 81

Updated: 12/26/2008 - Eartha Kitt, the self-proclaimed "sex kitten" whose sultry voice and catlike purr attracted fans even as she neared 80, has died. The singer, dancer and actress was 81.

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For Obama, huge challenges vs. big assets

Updated: 12/26/2008 - Barack Obama will inherit two wars and the worst economic conditions in three generations when he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20.

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Retailers slash prices to entice holiday shoppers

Updated: 12/26/2008 - Shoppers hit the stores early Friday to return unwanted gifts and take advantage of drastic price cuts offered by retailers desperate to get rid of old merchandise and boost their less-than-cheery holiday sales.

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