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Obama tax deal drives up rates

What the Federal Reserve giveth, Obama taketh away. The U.S. central bank’s $600 billion stimulus plan was supposed to lower interest rates. But President Barack Obama‘s tax deal with Republicans, by rekindling fears of budget deficits in the bond market, has pushed them higher. As the Fed meets this coming week, the surprise shot in the arm from the fiscal authorities might strengthen the case of hawks at the central bank, who think the economy is already growing of its own momentum. They could argue to scale down the $600 billion in bond purchases announced in November. “The shift to
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Cowboys almost upset Vick, Eagles

Michael Vick faked a handoff and threw deep to DeSean Jackson, a perfect strike for 60 yards. With that one play, the Philadelphia Eagles sent the Dallas Cowboys a strong message — we’re coming after you. Philadelphia kept coming, mostly with big plays. Jackson turned just four catches into 210 yards and LeSean McCoy ran for a career-high 149, lifting the Eagles to a 30-27 victory over the Cowboys on Sunday night and strengthening their grip on first place in the NFC East. “We put the pedal to the metal,” said Philadelphia coach Andy Reid, who also had to be
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Arena collapse moves game

Brett Favre is getting help from the Minnesota Vikings‘ medical staff, the athletic trainers and perhaps even the weather gods as he tries to keep his incredible consecutive starts record going. The Vikings’ home game against the New York Giants was moved to Monday night in Detroit after the Metrodome‘s inflated roof collapsed in a snowstorm early Sunday morning. The delay has given Favre more time to heal his sprained right shoulder, with his NFL-record streak of 297 straight regular season starts hanging in the balance. “Joke goin round is Gods Tryin to preserve Bretts streak record,” Vikings receiver Bernard
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A&P files for bankruptcy

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., once the nation’s largest grocer, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it struggles with enormous debt and increased competition from low-priced peers. The 151-year-old company, based in Montvale, N.J., operates 395 stores around the Northeast under the A&P, Waldbaum’s, The Food Emporium, Super Fresh, Pathmark and Food Basics grocery stores banners. The filing was widely anticipated. The company — known to most as A&P — has been bleeding red ink for some time. According to the filing submitted late Sunday in bankruptcy court in White Plains, N.Y., the company listed total
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With dream act shelved, illegal immigrants look beyond 2012

The illegal immigrants who more than a decade ago were just teens hoping to forge a legal path to citizenship are vowing to make the Dream Act a campaign issue come 2012, even though they’ll likely be too old to benefit if the law ever passes. The measure that passed in the House on Wednesday is unlikely go anywhere in the Senate, and the House is unlikely to revisit the issue once the new Republican leadership takes over. Groups like The National Council of La Raza and other Hispanic and immigrant advocacy groups know the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform
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Are you ready for an eight-state blizzard?

Much of the upper Midwest braced for frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall Sunday as the National Weather Service warned of blizzard conditions spanning parts of eight states. The heavy storm was moving eastward a day after it dumped 20 inches of snow in parts of the region, forcing numerous road closures and even postponing for a day an NFL football game when the New York Giants were unable to get to Minneapolis to play the Minnesota Vikings. A blizzard warning was in effect Sunday for Chicago and much of northern Illinois, all of Iowa, large sections of southern Minnesota and
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Vatican bank mired in money laundering scandal

This is no ordinary bank: The ATMs are in Latin. Priests use a private entrance. A life-size portrait of Pope Benedict XVI hangs on the wall. Nevertheless, the Institute for Religious Works is a bank, and it’s under harsh new scrutiny in a case involving money-laundering allegations that led police to seize euro23 million ($30 million) in Vatican assets in September. Critics say the case shows that the “Vatican Bank” has never shed its penchant for secrecy and scandal. The Vatican calls the seizure of assets a “misunderstanding” and expresses optimism it will be quickly cleared up. But court documents
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Bernie Madoff’s son dead in apparent suicide

The eldest son of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff hanged himself by a dog leash in his Manhattan apartment on Saturday, the second anniversary of his father’s arrest in a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that swindled thousands of investors of their life savings, law enforcement officials said. Mark Madoff, 46, was found hanging from a ceiling pipe in the living room of his SoHo loft apartment as his 2-year-old son slept in a nearby bedroom, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. The law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the death.
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New revelations into Ike’s farewell address

For nearly two years, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his aides searched for the right words to describe at the end of his presidency his fear that the nation’s burgeoning military power was driving its foreign policy, newly released papers show. Many months before delivering the farewell address in which he famously warned about the strength of the American “military-industrial complex,” Eisenhower weighed various ideas for the speech, but concerns about the military were always central to his remarks. The Eisenhower Presidential Library on Friday unveiled previously unseen drafts of the speech that were found recently in a cabin owned
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