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Bonuses, elite rep help boost Marine numbers

Updated: 12/30/2008 - Buoyed by more recruiters, bigger bonuses and an elite reputation, the Marine Corps has grown by nearly 27,000 members in a little more than two years — half the time that military officials believed it would take.

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White House backs Israel's attacks on Gaza Strip

Updated: 12/30/2008 - The White House, calling Monday for a lasting cease-fire in the Mideast, backed Israel's deadly air attacks on the Gaza Strip and said the Islamic militant group ruling there had shown its "true colors as a terrorist organization."

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Bad Recycling: Pay Stub Used as Bank Robbery Note

Updated: 12/30/2008 - The robber's threatening note made a Chicago bank job easy to solve: The FBI says the suspect wrote it on his pay stub. An FBI affidavit said the man walked into a Fifth Third Bank on Friday and handed a teller a note that read "Be Quick Be Quit (sic). Give your cash or I'll shoot."

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Family: Missing Fla. woman likely jumped overboard

Updated: 12/30/2008 - A woman who went missing from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico might have jumped overboard, her family believes, but authorities are still investigating whether someone could have pushed her.

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Illinois Governor to Make Public Statement

Updated: 12/30/2008 - The Chicago Democrat has scheduled a 3 p.m. EST news conference Tuesday, but Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero declined to say what the governor plans to discuss.

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Amid political change, troops prepare for Iraq

Updated: 12/30/2008 - Over his holiday leave, 1st Sgt. Lewis Walls will put a ring on his new bride's finger, hold their baby boy one last time, and then report back to deploy to Iraq.

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US diplomat says Afghan road bombings up in 2008

Updated: 12/30/2008 - The number of roadside bombs and kidnappings doubled in Afghanistan in 2008 from the year previous, the U.S. ambassador said Tuesday, grim statistics that underscore the country's deteriorating security situation.

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Thrice-built house embodies Haiti aid shortfalls

Updated: 12/30/2008 - The farmer camps in a crude tent of broken sandbags as he guards the foundation of his destroyed home and his last possessions: a pickax, a hoe and some charcoal.

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Japan auto sales plunge as young lose interest

Updated: 12/30/2008 - To get around the city, Yutaka Makino hops on his skateboard or rides commuter trains. Does he dream of the day when he has his own car? Not a chance.

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Air New Zealand tests jet with biofuel

Updated: 12/30/2008 - A passenger jet powered in part by vegetable oil successfully completed a two-hour flight Tuesday to test a biofuel that could lower airplane emissions and cut costs, Air New Zealand said.

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Webber: 'Phantom' sequel in the works

Updated: 12/30/2008 - Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber says the long awaited sequel to "Phantom of the Opera" should be ready at the end of 2009, with a possible simultaneous opening on three continents.

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Bonuses, elite rep help boost Marine numbers

Updated: 12/30/2008 - Buoyed by more recruiters, bigger bonuses and an elite reputation, the Marine Corps has grown by nearly 27,000 members in a little more than two years — half the time that military officials believed it would take.

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Ecomomic news drowns out geopolitics in oil market

Updated: 12/30/2008 - Oil prices fell Tuesday as consumer confidence in the U.S. hit an all-time low in December and home prices dropped sharply, with few signs that the real estate market has hit bottom.

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December Consumer Confidence Drops to All-Time Low

Updated: 12/30/2008 - Consumer confidence hit an all-time low in December, dropping unexpectedly in the face of layoffs and deteriorating markets for housing, stocks and other investments.

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Hezbollah watches for now as Israel hits Hamas

Updated: 12/30/2008 - Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah guerrilla movement — widely seen as the Arab world's most effective force against Israel — is a staunch Hamas supporter but has so far held its fire as its Palestinian ally faces down Israel's assault in Gaza.

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Kansas Governor Won't Rule Out DC Later

Updated: 12/30/2008 - Gov. Kathleen Sebelius says a job in President-elect Barack Obama's administration is still a possibility in the future.

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GMAC Receives $5B in Bailout Funds

Updated: 12/30/2008 - The Treasury Department said that it will provide $5 billion to GMAC Financial Services LLC, the ailing financing arm of General Motors Corp., in a move that's expected to stave off a bankruptcy protection filing at the company but also severely limit GM's control over it.

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Pakistan closes US supply route to hit militants

Updated: 12/30/2008 - Pakistan closed the main route used to ferry supplies to U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan on Tuesday after launching a fresh offensive against militants in the area.

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Air New Zealand tests jet with biofuel

Updated: 12/30/2008 - A passenger jet powered in part by vegetable oil successfully completed a two-hour flight Tuesday to test a biofuel that could lower airplane emissions and cut costs, Air New Zealand said.

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Ecomomic News Drowns Out Geopolitics in Oil Market

Updated: 12/30/2008 - Oil prices fell Tuesday as consumer confidence in the U.S. hit an all-time low in December and home prices dropped sharply, with few signs that the real estate market has hit bottom.

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Ex-Bush Aides Say he Never Recovered From Katrina

Updated: 12/30/2008 - Hurricane Katrina not only pulverized the Gulf Coast in 2005, it knocked the bully pulpit out from under President George W. Bush, according to two former advisers who spoke candidly about the political impact of the government's poor handling of the natural disaster.

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