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Personalized spam rising sharply, study finds

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Yes, guys, those spam e-mails for Viagra or baldness cream just might be directed to you personally. So, too, are many of the other crafty come-ons clogging inboxes, trying to lure us to fake Web sites so criminals can steal our personal information.

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Calif. Dems try to pass budget without GOP votes

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Democrats were trying to break a weekslong impasse over California's multibillion-dollar deficit by making an end run around Republicans, offering a complicated mix of revenue cuts and increases that they said would raise billions without requiring two-thirds majority typically needed to raise taxes.

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2 trains derail in crash along Mississippi River

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Two freight trains collided early Wednesday, derailing 26 cars and plunging a locomotive into the Mississippi River, authorities said. No one was seriously hurt.

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Suicide of man accused in wildfire hits some hard

Updated: 12/18/2008 - For 30 years, Stephen Posniak sought out the solitude of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. He trekked there nearly every spring to camp, paddle and enjoy the peace and quiet.

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Mont., fed gov't loosen rules on Yellowstone bison

Updated: 12/18/2008 - State and federal officials have agreed to allow bison to migrate into parts of Montana from Yellowstone National Park - a move expected to slow but not stop an annual slaughter of the animals.

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Ohio's largest county aims to fight foreclosures

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Ohio's largest county is about to embark on an experiment in which government becomes the owner of foreclosed and abandoned properties, fixes them up and turns them back over to private owners.

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Oregon bomb expert's death leaves many questions

Updated: 12/18/2008 - By all accounts, Bill Hakim was one of those solid cops with plenty of experience and sound judgment who other police officers depend on to make a tough decision, especially on the bomb squad.

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Nursing home industry worries about new ratings

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Rating systems help people decide which restaurants to go to or hotels to stay at. So why not something similar from the federal government for the nation's 16,000 nursing homes?

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Illinois court rejects attempt to remove governor

Updated: 12/18/2008 - With the Illinois Supreme Court rejecting an effort to oust Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a legislative panel considering impeachment prepared to examine whether he abused his power, despite challenges from the Democrat's lawyer.

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Taiwan Prepares for Chinese Pandas

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Preparations are underway at Taipei Zoo ahead of the arrival of two giant pandas that China is giving to Taiwan in the latest sign of warming ties between the two once-bitter rivals.

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Dodge City 3 Year-Old's Death Ruled Homicide

Updated: 12/18/2008 - The Dodge City Police Department said Wednesday that a forensic pathologist performed an autopsy on Natalie Pickle's body and determined foul play was involved.

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New Credit Card Rules Guard Consumers

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Federal regulators on Thursday adopted sweeping new rules for the credit card industry that will shield consumers from increases in interest rates on existing account balances among other changes.

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Chrysler, Ford Idle Factories, GM Delays New Plant

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Chrysler is closing all its North American manufacturing plants for at least a month, the starkest move yet taken by U.S. automakers as they anxiously await word about government loans.

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New Jobless Claims Drop More than Expected

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped more than expected last week, but mass layoffs continue amid a recession that appears to be deepening.

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Regulators Adopt New Credit Card Rules

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Federal regulators on Thursday adopted sweeping new rules for the credit card industry that will shield consumers from increases in interest rates on existing account balances among other changes.

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Obama Team Weighs Up to $850 Billion Economic Jolt

Updated: 12/18/2008 - President-elect Barack Obama is laying the groundwork for a giant economic stimulus package, possibly $850 billion over two years, in his first test of legislative give and take with Congress.

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FedEx 2Q Profit Rises 3%; Plans Salary Cuts

Updated: 12/18/2008 - FedEx Corp. said Wednesday its fiscal second-quarter earnings rose 3 percent, narrowly topping Wall Street's expectations, but it announced further cost cuts as demand continues to slump.

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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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Suicide Try Hospitalizes Mindy McCready

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Country singer Mindy McCready was hospitalized after she cut her wrists and took several pills in an apparent suicide attempt, Nashville police said.

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Stock Futures Up Ahead of Jobless Claims

Updated: 12/18/2008 - Wall Street headed for a moderately higher open Thursday, eager for a stimulus plan aimed at average Americans but still shaky ahead of a reading on unemployment claims.

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