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In a transatlantic roundup of organized crime suspects, US authorities said 54 people were arrested Thursday, mostly in the New York area, but some also in Italy, on charges ranging from murder to loan-sharking. The three highest-ranking members of the Gambino crime family not already in prison were among those apprehended.

Retailers across all sectors reported weak January results Thursday, with cash-strapped consumers opting to buy mostly necessities with their holiday gift cards. According to a preliminary data from Thomson Financial, 14 of 24 watched retailers missed expectations.

Newly declassified documents reveal that the lead prosecutor in the terror case against Zacarias Moussaoui may have known that CIA tapes of terror interrogations were destroyed more than a year before the government acknowledged the act to the court.

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Thomas and Tamitha Garner, whose trip to photograph wild horses went awry, were successfully rescued Wednesday after more than a week in heavy snow in southwestern Utah. A snowplow driver discovered the couple on a remote canyon road after they'd hiked about 15 to 20 miles from their stranded pickup truck.

In a report on a controversial 2006 Florida congressional race, federal investigators were expected to tell a US House task force Friday that voter confusion was a much more likely cause of a large number of undervotes than touch-screen voting machines. A poorly designed ballot may have caused as many as 18,000 voters to skip over part of the ballot.

Litter experts estimate that littering has fallen about 2 percent a year since widespread trash surveys began in 1974, according to a report by McClatchy Newspapers. Factors cited in the trend are greater environmental awareness brought about by public-awareness campaigns and recycling programs as well as tougher antilittering enforcement.

The NBA's Phoenix Suns acquired Shaquille O'Neal in a stunning, blockbuster deal Wednesday from the Miami Heat, which has nose-dived since winning its only title two years ago.

A proposed 16-mile toll road aimed at reducing highway congestion between San Diego and Orange County was dealt a serious blow Wednesday when the California Coastal Commission voted against endorsing it. Environmentalists and surfers argued that the project would endanger coastal species and the renowned Trestles surf break. Above, opponents of the measure made their position clear at a hearing.

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