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The Influence Game: Builders construct a tax break

Updated: 01/08/2009 - A tax break for big homebuilders, derailed last year amid public outrage at their role in the housing meltdown, is now back on track - thanks to well-connected lobbyists and a growing chorus of suddenly strapped other businesses that would benefit.

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Schlumberger to cut up to 1,000 jobs

Updated: 01/08/2009 - Schlumberger Ltd., the world's largest oilfield services company, says it's eliminating up to 1,000 jobs in North America, or about 5 percent of its work force, and is looking at cuts elsewhere globally.

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Stores' dismal December means prices should fall

Updated: 01/08/2009 - Dismal sales figures for the holiday shopping season are probably a sign of worse to come for merchants in 2009 - not only more sharp discounts and cheaper groceries but probably fewer stores.

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Man Allegedly Caused Flats with Nails in Driveways

Updated: 01/08/2009 - Police in upstate New York say a man has been sprinkling roofing nails on the driveways of people he didn't like to cause flat tires for two years. Stony Point police Lt. Peter Quinn said Michael Delisio was arrested Tuesday after an officer staking out one victim's home saw nails being thrown from Delisio's car.

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Cruise calls death of Travolta's son 'horrific'

Updated: 01/08/2009 - "Horrific" is how Tom Cruise described the sudden death of the son of his friend, John Travolta. Cruise struggled to maintain his composure as he spoke on "The View" about last week's death of 16-year-old Jett Travolta.

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Diocese seeks $20M from breakaway Episcopalians

Updated: 01/08/2009 - Episcopal leaders in Pittsburgh went to court Thursday seeking to recover $20 million in assets they believe were wrongfully taken when the conservative branches split from the liberal diocese in October.

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UN Halts Gaza Aid After Israel Attack on Workers

Updated: 01/08/2009 - The U.N. suspended food deliveries to Gaza and the Red Cross accused Israel of blocking medical assistance after forces fired on aid workers, killing two, as the threat of a wider conflict emerged with Lebanon.

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Travoltas hold private memorial for son in Florida

Updated: 01/08/2009 - Friends and relatives of John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston gathered Thursday at their central Florida home for a memorial service to honor the couple's 16-year-old son, Jett.

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Citi reaches deal with lawmakers on home loans

Updated: 01/08/2009 - Democratic lawmakers have reached a deal with Citigroup Inc. on a plan to let bankruptcy judges alter home loans in an effort to prevent foreclosures and urged other lenders to follow suit.

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Schlumberger to cut up to 1,000 jobs

Updated: 01/08/2009 - Schlumberger Ltd., the world's largest oilfield services company, says it's eliminating up to 1,000 jobs in North America, or about 5 percent of its work force, and is looking at cuts elsewhere globally.

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Prosecutors: Madoff was ready to send out $173M

Updated: 01/08/2009 - Prosecutors said Thursday that investigators found 100 signed checks worth $173 million in Bernard Madoff's office desk that he was ready to send out to his closest family and friends at the time of his arrest last month in what is alleged to be largest financial fraud in history.

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New US-led naval force to battle Somali pirates

Updated: 01/08/2009 - A new international naval force under American command will soon begin patrols to confront escalating attacks by Somali pirates after more than 100 ships came under siege in the past year, the U.S. Navy said Thursday.

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Official: Attack on US patrol kills 5

Updated: 01/08/2009 - A suicide bomber struck U.S. troops patrolling on foot in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing at least two soldiers and three civilians and wounding at least nine others, officials said.

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Analysis: Lebanese rockets raise fear of 2nd front

Updated: 01/08/2009 - Residents of this northern Israeli town awoke Thursday to one of their country's worst nightmares: Rockets from Lebanon, and the possibility of a second front in a battle that has raged for two weeks in Gaza.

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Red Cross: Israel delayed access to Gaza wounded

Updated: 01/08/2009 - The international Red Cross accused Israel on Thursday of "unacceptable" delays in letting rescue workers reach three Gaza City homes hit by shelling where they eventually found 15 dead and 18 wounded, including young children too weak to stand.

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Firefighters near containment of Colo. wildfire

Updated: 01/08/2009 - Thousands of evacuated residents, including former FEMA chief Michael D. Brown, were allowed to return to their homes Thursday after firefighters partially contained a wildfire near Denver that destroyed two houses and several outbuildings.

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Survey: Reporters dropped ball covering meltdown

Updated: 01/08/2009 - Signaling a look inward that echoes critiques of the media's performance in the months before the Iraq War, some of the nation's top financial journalists believe reporters dropped the ball as the nation's economy tumbled toward crisis mode.

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