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February home sales rise as prices sink

WASHINGTON - One month does not a recovery make. But a surprising leap in existing home sales in February was a welcome if tentative sign of hope that the real estate market may be stabilizing.

While sales of existing homes remain at lows not seen in more than a decade, economists were encouraged by the news, saying it reflected buyers who were taking advantage of deep discounts on foreclosures and other distressed properties. That's essential if home prices are to find their long-awaited bottom.

March 24, 2009 | By ALAN ZIBEL AP Real Estate Writer | World


'Knowing' tops at box office with $24.8 million

LOS ANGELES - Audiences knew what they wanted this weekend: Nicholas Cage and the apocalypse.

Summit Entertainment's supernatural thriller "Knowing," which stars Cage as an astrophysics professor who figures out how to predict monumental catastrophes, debuted as the No. 1 movie at the weekend box office with $24.8 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday.

March 23, 2009 | ASSOCIATED PRESS | World


FAA: Children among 14 to 17 dead in MT plane crash

BUTTE, Mont. - A small plane - possibly carrying children on a ski trip - crashed Sunday as it approached the Butte airport, killing 14 to 17 people aboard, a federal official said. The single engine turboprop nose-dived into a cemetery 500 feet from its destination.

March 23, 2009 | By MATT GOURAS Associated Press Writer | World


Watchdog group: IRS not cracking down on wealthy tax cheats

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service is not living up to its pledge to crack down on wealthy tax cheats, an IRS watchdog group says, citing a drop in audits of millionaires last year.

March 23, 2009 | By JIM ABRAMS Associated Press Writer | World


Space station’s new solar wings open up

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Astronauts successfully unfurled the newly installed solar wings at the international space station Friday, a nerve-racking procedure that went exceedingly well and brought the orbiting outpost to full power.

March 20, 2009 | By MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer | World


Report: Troubled students forced to cage fight

DALLAS - Workers at a high school staged cage fights among troubled students, making them settle their differences with bare-knuckled brawls in a steel utility cage inside a boys locker room, school district documents show.

March 19, 2009 | The Associated Press | World


Cheney: Obama detainee policies make US less safe

WASHINGTON - Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday that Americans are less safe now that President Barack Obama has overturned Bush terrorism-fighting policies and that nearly all the Republican administration's goals in Iraq have been achieved.

"There is no prospect" that Iraq will return to producing weapons of mass destruction or supporting terrorists, Cheney asserted, "as long as it's a democratically governed country, as long as they have got the security forces they do now and a relationship with the United States."

March 15, 2009 | By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL Associated Press Writer | World


Ticket's in the mail: Red-light cameras questioned

CLIVE, Iowa - Minutes after Neel Manglik illegally turned right on a red light in the Des Moines suburb of Clive, a video popped up on a computer at an office park outside Scottsdale, Ariz.

March 14, 2009 | By NIGEL DUARA Associated Press Writer | World


Police shoot gunman who killed 15 at school in Germany

WINNENDEN, Germany - A 17-year-old gunman dressed in black opened fire at his former high school in southwestern Germany on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and injuring others before escaping, police said. But state officials say police caught up with him and fatally shot the gunman.

Helicopters searching for him crisscrossed the area, and police warned area residents not to pick anyone up in their cars. It was Germany's worst shooting since another teenage gunman killed 16 people and himself in another high school in 2002.

March 11, 2009 | The Associated Press | World


Gunman kills 9 in south Alabama, then himself

Authorities were working Wednesday to learn why a gunman set off on a rampage of at least nine slayings across two rural Alabama counties. Shocked, grieving residents hoped the answers weren't lost when he killed himself.

Tuesday's shootings in a mostly rural area near the Florida border were believed to be the work of Michael McLendon, who lived with his mother and once worked at a local metal plant.

March 11, 2009 | By JESSICA GRESKO and DESIREE HUNTER Associated Press Writers | World


Museum reveals engraving hidden in Lincoln watch

WASHINGTON - For nearly 150 years, a story has circulated about a hidden Civil War message engraved inside Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch. On Tuesday, museum curators confirmed it was true.

March 10, 2009 | By BRETT ZONGKER Associated Press Writer | World


Stocks shoot higher on Citigroup profit news

NEW YORK - Wall Street got some good news from Citigroup, and responded with a huge rally.

Led by financial stocks, the market made its first big move upward in weeks Tuesday after Citigroup Inc. said it had operated at a profit during the first two months of the year. All the major indexes soared more than 4 percent, and the Dow Jones industrials at times shot up more than 300 points.

March 10, 2009 | By SARA LEPRO AP Business Writer | World


33 dead in suicide attack on Iraq tribal leaders

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber struck Sunni and Shiite tribal leaders and high-ranking security officials touring a market after a reconciliation meeting west of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 33 people. The attack raised concerns about a spike in violence as the U.S. military begins to drawn down its forces.

Despite the ongoing violence, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said he does not believe the Iraqi government will ask Americans to remain in the country past a 2011 deadline set by a security agreement between the two countries.

March 10, 2009 | By KIM GAMEL Associated Press Writer | World


Report: Coast Guard spent $1.6M seeking 4 lost men

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A Florida newspaper reports the search for two NFL players and two other men missing in the Gulf of Mexico cost the U.S. Coast Guard $1.6 million.

March 10, 2009 | The Associated Press | World


New job for laid-off moms: stay-at-home motherhood

NEW YORK - Soon after New Yorker Geralyn Lucas was laid off from her television job in January, she took her 2-year-old son to the playroom of her apartment building. She realized she had never been there before.

Within minutes she had inadvertently broken all the cleanliness rules. "I wore shoes," confesses Lucas, 41. "I brought food. I changed his diaper. I didn't know those things weren't allowed."

March 10, 2009 | By JOCELYN NOVECK AP National Writer | World


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