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New runways open at 3 of nation's busiest airports

Updated: 11/20/2008 - WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Brand new runways are opening at three major airports Thursday, giving the aviation community something to cheer about in a year of dismal economic and travel news.

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Thieves pry bronze Virgin Mary statue from church

Updated: 11/20/2008 - Thieves may have to take an awkward trip to the confessional. A bronze statue of the Virgin Mary was lifted from a Catholic church in Newport Beach. Police Lt. Craig Fox said the 4-to-5 foot statue was pried from its base on the front of Our Lady Queen of Angels Church on Friday night.

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Rapper gets 20 years after writing shooting song

Updated: 11/20/2008 - He shot a man twice and felt so good about it, police said, a rapper wrote a song describing the shooting and calling out the victim by name. A judge sentenced 25-year-old Rico Todriquez Wright Monday to spend the next 20 years in prison after his victim mentioned the hip hop confession to police.

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Oil dips below $50 a barrel

Updated: 11/20/2008 - NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oil prices continued to plunge Thursday with prices falling below $50 a barrel for the first time in nearly two years as growing concern about the economy weighed on demand.

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Ind. inmates sneak through ceiling to have sex

Updated: 11/20/2008 - Three male and three female inmates at a southern Indiana jail face charges that they devised a way to sneak between cell blocks to help pass their time behind bars by having sex.

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Court will hear appeal of same-sex marriage measure

Updated: 11/20/2008 - (CNN) -- California's Supreme Court said Wednesday that it will hear the appeal of a challenge to Proposition 8, a voter-approved measure outlawing same-sex marriage.

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Counting the dead gets more complicated in Iraq

Updated: 11/20/2008 - This much is agreed - a double bombing in Baghdad struck a school bus and those responding to the first blast. But the difference in casualty figures was stark. Iraqi officials said 31 people died; the U.S. military put the death toll at five.

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Iraqi government starts paying Sunni fighters

Updated: 11/20/2008 - Iraq's Shiite-dominated government is making good on promises to pay thousands of U.S.-backed Sunni fighters in Baghdad, the U.S. military said Sunday, despite some government unease over the alliance.

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Sources: Pritzker, Napolitano being vetted for Cabinet

Updated: 11/20/2008 - (CNN) -- Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano is President-elect Barack Obama's top choice for homeland security secretary, according to multiple Democratic sources close to the transition.

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Main provisions of US-Iraq security pact

Updated: 11/20/2008 - Key provisions of the U.S.-Iraqi security pact that was approved by the Iraqi Cabinet and is being considered by the parliament ahead of a Nov. 24 vote:

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Iran judiciary chief lauds US-Iraqi security pact

Updated: 11/20/2008 - Iran took a surprisingly positive stance Monday on the Iraq-U.S. security pact after months of harshly denouncing the deal, which would keep American troops in Iraq for three more years.

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Iraq announces date for long-delayed elections

Updated: 11/20/2008 - Iraq said Tuesday that it will hold long-awaited provincial elections on Jan. 31, a step forward for U.S.-backed efforts to promote national reconciliation even though a key northern area will not participate in the vote.

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US arrests suspected Iranian agent in Iraq

Updated: 11/20/2008 - The U.S. military says it has arrested an alleged senior member of the Iranian security forces suspected of funneling weapons into Iraq.

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Obama poised to rebrand America, experts say

Updated: 11/20/2008 - (CNN) -- President-elect Barack Obama is poised to restore the United States' image in the international community, but experts say the president-elect must show the world that his actions will live up to his rhetoric.

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US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,200

Updated: 11/20/2008 - As of Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008, at least 4,200 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

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US raid kills Iraqi blamed in 2004 reservist death

Updated: 11/20/2008 - An al-Qaida in Iraq leader blamed in the 2004 abduction and murder of an Army reservist and other deadly attacks over several years was killed in an American raid in Baghdad, the U.S. military said Thursday.

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Stevens gives last Senate speech as staffers weep

Updated: 11/20/2008 - WASHINGTON – In a painfully poignant moment reminiscent of the fall of yesteryear's Senate giants, Republican Ted Stevens has spoken and yielded the floor for the last time.

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Detroit automakers' rescue stalls in Senate

Updated: 11/20/2008 - WASHINGTON – A plan to give troubled U.S. automakers billions of dollars in government-backed loans is stalled on Capitol Hill, leaving the fate of hundreds of thousands of workers and Detroit's once-venerable car companies hanging in the balance.

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Stocks fall after jobless claims jump

Updated: 11/20/2008 - NEW YORK – Fresh worries about widening unemployment added to investors' list of concerns about the economy Thursday and extended Wall Street's sell-off to a second day. The major indexes each fell more than 1.5 percent, including the Dow Jones industrial average, which lost 110 points.

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Perino: Bush would sign jobless benefits extension

Updated: 11/20/2008 - WASHINGTON – With weekly jobless claims benefits at a 16-year high, the White House said Thursday that President George W. Bush would quickly sign legislation pending in Congress to provide further unemployment benefits.

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Jobless claims jump unexpectedly to 16-year high

Updated: 11/20/2008 - WASHINGTON – New claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week to a 16-year high, the Labor Department said Thursday, providing more evidence of a rapidly weakening job market expected to get even worse next year.

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8th Graders Participate in Great American Smokeout

Updated: 11/20/2008 - Approximately 400 hundred eighth graders at Washburn Rural Middle School participated in the latest drive by the American Cancer Society to steer the teens away from tobacco.

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GMAC Files with Fed for Bank Holding Status

Updated: 11/20/2008 - GMAC Financial Services has applied to the Federal Reserve to become a bank holding company, which would allow General Motors' financing arm to be eligible for aid under the Treasury's $700 billion bank rescue plan.

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