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By Ross AtkinCompiled from wire service reports / April 24, 2007



Pioneering online presidential debates that will allow candidates in the 2008 election to participate from different locales is planned for sometime after Labor Day on Yahoo, the online portal and two other sponsors announced Monday. Yahoo, in partnership with Slate magazine and the political blog Huffington Post, will host the debates.

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Bank of America will buy the LaSalle Bank, the US unit of ABN Amro, for $21 billion in cash as part of a side deal of a mega international bank merger, the Dutch financial services giant said Monday.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo joined with his counterparts in Illinois and Missouri Monday in announcing an agreement arising from an investigation into questionable student lending practices. Details weren't available until after the Monitor's deadlines.

Sex discrimination is the probable cause of the continuing pay gap between men and women, which grows in the postgraduate years, according to a study released Monday by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. Women made 80 percent as much as their male peers one year after college, and 69 percent 10 years later.

A rare slugging feat helped propel the Boston Red Sox to a three-game sweep of the New York Yankees Sunday night. Boston's Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell, and Jason Varitek hit successive home runs off rookie pitcher Chase Wright. It was only the fifth such barrage in major-league history.

About $3.6 billion in contracts for hurricane Katrina recovery work were awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to companies with poor credit histories, according to a government study to be released later this week. The Department of Homeland Security found a haphazard competitive bidding process exposed FEMA to "unacceptable" risk," the Associated Press reported Monday.

The Navy said Sunday it could be several weeks before it determines the cause of a Blue Angel jet crash during a weekend air show near the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, S.C. The pilot, Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Davis, was killed when his plane appeared to hit a tree before slamming into a residential neighborhood, injuring eight people. It was the precision flight team's first fatal crash since 1999.

A wind shift blew smoke from a weeklong wildfire in southeastern Georgia to Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tenn., officials said Sunday as the blaze burned an additional 10,000 acres. In all it has scorched 55,000 acres and 18 homes.

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