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Tax Cheats Among Recipients of Stimulus Money

Posted: 05/23/2011 - Thousands of companies that cashed in on President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package owed the government millions in unpaid taxes, congressional investigators have found.

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Pawlenty Launches Bid, Delivers Tough Talk in Iowa

Posted: 05/23/2011 - Tim Pawlenty is casting himself as the Republican candidate willing to tell the country hard truths as he seeks the presidency, announcing in corn-dependent Iowa that its prized federal subsidies for ethanol should be phased out.

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Obama Leaving Ireland Early as Ash Cloud Looms

Updated: 05/23/2011 - The White House says President Barack Obama will leave Ireland early due to safety concerns over a cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano that is moving toward Europe.

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Missouri Officials Say Tornado Killed at Least 89

Updated: 05/23/2011 - A massive tornado that tore a 6-mile path across southwestern Missouri killed at least 89 people as it slammed into the city of Joplin, ripping into a hospital, crushing cars like soda cans and leaving a forest of splintered tree trunks behind where entire neighborhoods once stood.

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Panel: Insular Toyota Should Listen to Outsiders

Updated: 05/23/2011 - An independent panel set up to review Toyota Motor Corp.'s safety and quality issues says the company doesn't do a good job of incorporating customer feedback into its car designs.

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Civilian Slain at Ft Hood Gets Medal

Posted: 05/23/2011 - The man credited with being the first to try to stop the Fort Hood gunman is getting an Army heroism medal more than a year after the rampage in which he died.

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Gates: US Must Guard Strength as it Cuts Deficits

Posted: 05/23/2011 - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told University of Notre Dame graduates on Sunday that the nation's security and prosperity depend on making sure the armed forces get the necessary equipment, training and funding, even in the face of a federal budget crisis.

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Sight of Former IMF Chief's Wife Rewards Crowd

Posted: 05/23/2011 - Curious onlookers and a throng of reporters desperate for a glimpse into Dominique Strauss-Kahn's life under house arrest were rewarded with a sighting of the former IMF leader's wife leaving their luxury high-rise.

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Tucson Elementary Students Talk to Endeavour Crew

Posted: 05/23/2011 - HOUSTON – Elementary school classmates of the youngest victim of the January shootings in Tucson chatted Sunday with space shuttle Endeavour astronauts in orbit, with the shuttle commander saying their fallen classmate inspired him. Endeavour commander Mark Kelly, the husband of wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who represents a district that includes Tucson, even surprised students with a spinning-in-zero-gravity edition of their 2010-2011 Mesa Verde Mountain Lion yearbook that he took into space. It will be autographed by the entire crew. He highlighted the pages dedicated to 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, who was killed in the shooting. "I've come to admire her very much," Kelly said, answering a question about how he got interested in space, by mentioning the fallen girl. He pointed out that he was Christina-Taylor's age when Apollo astronauts inspired him. He went out of his way twice to mention Christina-Taylor. For students at Mesa Verde Elementary School in Tucson, it was an unusual time to come to school: Sunday night. But it was an even more unusual school activity: Making a long distance call 216 miles straight up. They were delayed by 20 minutes of technical problems, but still got nearly half an hour of questions to Kelly and astronaut Mike Fincke. The special educational event was set up by Kelly. Breanna Loving, a 10-year-old fourth-grader, asked her question about the longest Fincke had been in space (two six-month stints) but was pretty nervous doing so. "When I was up there asking the question I had giant butterflies," she said afterward. "I thought to myself this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, don't mess it up." Breanna credited Christina-Taylor with giving the small school this opportunity. Rob Mejias, father of two students at the school, said: "It's unfortunate that a tragedy had to happen for something like this to occur. It was just amazing that everyone could come together and set differences aside and be one." But for the kids, most of the questions were about more down-to-Earth matters. One boy's question had Kelly finding common ground with the students calling up from Earth: he loves candy, but the rest of the food up in orbit might as well be dished out by a school cafeteria. A boy named Corbin asked: "Does the food taste good in space?" So Kelly, who got fed candy in zero-gravity tosses from Fincke while waiting for the technical problems to be fixed, burst the culinary bubble. "We've got some M&Ms right here, those taste pretty good," Kelly said. "The rest of it? Not so good." Third-grader Sophie Mejias found that funny. She could relate because she doesn't like her school cafeteria's hot dogs. When a boy named Diego asked if they had seen anything strange in space, it was Mike Fincke's turn to answer in the negative. "I can't say that I've ever seen anything strange, but that's a good question. One of the reasons we're up here is to explore new things," Fincke said. "I don't think anybody up here has ever seen a UFO, but we're keeping our eyes open." When one of the youngest students, a girl named Tessa, asked how you become an astronaut, Kelly had an answer tailor-made for the teachers in the audience: Do well in school. He pointed out that Fincke had gone to both Stanford and MIT. "It really is worth your time to work really, really hard, do your homework and listen to your teachers," Kelly said. Monday is a scheduled day off for Endeavour's six-man crew. Mission controllers gave the astronauts an extra hour of sleeping, then waking them to the Foo Fighters' song: "Times Like These." The first line of the chorus is "It's times like these you learn to live again."

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Dozens Feared Dead in Tornado

Updated: 05/23/2011 - A massive tornado that blasted a four-mile path across southwestern Missouri slammed into this city with cataclysmic force, ripping into a hospital, upending cars and leaving only a forest of splintered tree trunks behind where entire neighborhoods once stood.

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Al-Qaida Eyed Oil Tankers as Bomb Targets

Posted: 05/20/2011 - Osama bin Laden's personal files revealed a brazen idea to hijack oil tankers and blow them up at sea last summer, creating explosions he hoped would rattle the world's economy and send oil prices skyrocketing, the U.S. said Friday.

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Disputes 'Between Friends': Obama, Netanyahu at White House

Updated: 05/20/2011 - Showing no progress toward peace, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat alongside President Barack Obama on Friday and declared that Israel would not withdraw to 1967 borders to help make way for an adjacent Palestinian state. Obama had called on Israel to be willing to do just that a day earlier.

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Wrestler Known as 'Macho Man' Dies in Florida Wreck

Updated: 05/20/2011 - Randy "Macho Man" Savage, the professional wrestler known for his raspy voice, the sunglasses and bandanas he wore in the ring and the young woman named Miss Elizabeth who often accompanied him, died in a car crash Friday in Florida. He was 58.

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CDC Warns of 'Zombie Apocalypse' and Offers How-to-Guide

Updated: 05/21/2011 - "Zombie apocalypse." That blog posting headline is all it took for a behind-the-scenes public health doctor to set off an Internet frenzy over tired old advice about keeping water and flashlights on hand in case of a hurricane.

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Life Sentence for Ohio Mom Who Microwaved Baby

Posted: 05/20/2011 - An Ohio woman found guilty of burning her baby daughter to death in a microwave oven has been sentenced to serve life in prison with no chance for parole.

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Prosecutor: Former IMF Leader Indicted

Updated: 05/19/2011 - A prosecutor in New York says a grand jury has indicted former IMF leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn in connection with an alleged attack on a hotel maid.

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Mississippi Crests in Vicksburg, Claims 1st Life

Posted: 05/19/2011 - The Mississippi River crested at more than 14 feet above flood stage in Vicksburg on Thursday, a slightly lower than expected level that eased worries about water potentially spilling over a nearby levee and inundating thousands more acres of farmland.

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