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  • Consumer bankruptcy attorney Linda Tirelli holds up mortgage documents from one of the civil cases she is handling in her White Plains, New York office, December 14, 2011.

    Four years after the banking system nearly collapsed from reckless mortgage lending, federal prosecutors have stayed on the sidelines, even as judges around the country are pointing fingers at possible wrongdoing.

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    22 Dec 11
  • A soldier stands guard near a burnt vehicle after a bomb attack in Alawi district in central Baghdad December 22, 2011

    U.S. intelligence agencies warned that security gains in Iraq could degenerate into sectarian violence after a troop pullout that some officials say left the United States with little leverage in a country it occupied for nearly nine years.

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    22 Dec 11
  • Mystery buyer acquires vatican.xxx web address

    The Vatican said on Wednesday an unknown buyer had snapped up the internet address vatican.xxx, a domain combining its name with an extension reserved for pornographic content.

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    21 Dec 11
  • Newt Gingrich looks over his shoulder during a campaign event in Manchester, New Hampshire December 21, 2011.

    “I’m speaking as a historian.” It’s a common refrain in Newt Gingrich’s speeches, a not-so-subtle reminder of the image he seeks to build as a Republican presidential candidate: that of a serious thinker whose opinions are rooted in an appreciation of the past.

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    21 Dec 11
  • Iraq crisis raises specter of sectarian strife

    When the last American soldiers left Iraq this week almost nine years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, U.S. officials were keen to portray it as a stable, democratic, if still troubled nation.

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    21 Dec 11
  • China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin gestures to a journalist during a news conference in Beijing November 21, 2011.

    Hackers in China broke through the computer defenses of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last year and were able to access information about its operations and its 3 million members, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

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    21 Dec 11
  • A worker wearing a protection suit cull chickens at a poultry farm where the bird flu virus had been found in Takanabe Town, Miyazaki prefecture January 31, 2011

    A U.S. scientific advisory board on Tuesday asked two scientific journals to leave out data from research studies on a lab-made version of bird flu that could spread more easily to humans, fearing it could be used as a potential weapon.

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    20 Dec 11
  • “Whatever” deemed most annoying word: poll

    Do you want to kill a conversation? Try saying “whatever.”

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    20 Dec 11