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MAY I JOIN YOU?

"This country defined me. This country allowed my dreams to come true.... I love this country; it's the best place to be." The words of a profoundly grateful American reflecting on his heritage in this year of extraordinary challenge? Not exactly. Instead, they were spoken by Canadian actor- comedian Jim Carrey, the star of "Liar Liar," "Dumb and Dumber," "The Cable Guy," and the "Ace Ventura" films. Carrey, who grew up in a suburb of Toronto, announced he has submitted his application to become a US citizen.

Recession or no recession, American teenagers expect to be active gift buyers this holiday season, according to results of a nationwide survey conducted by Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Junior Achievement Inc., whose mission is to "educate young people about business, economics, and free enterprise." Most respondents to the survey said they'll pay for their purchases out of earnings from their own part-time jobs rather than borrowing a parent's credit card. Some of the findings from the survey of 1,559 students, ages 12 to 18, conducted in October:

I work part-time 52%

I have my own credit card 10%

I prefer to visit stores versus shopping online 90%

I expect to spend more than $200 on holiday gits 16%

I expect to spend $125 or more 33%

I expect to spend $75 or less 42%

- Business Wire

Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn and Steven Savides

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