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The job of naming a US senator to succeed President-elect Obama falls to Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) of Illinois, who said Wednesday he hopes to make an announcement before Christmas or the start of the 111th Congress on Jan. 3. Blagojevich indicated he'll seek input from his senior staffers in the vetting process, as well from Obama.

Upon returning to Alaska, Gov. Sarah Palin was greeted at the Anchorage airport Wednesday by chants of "2012! 2012!"after coming up short as John McCain's GOP running mate. Asked by reporters if she might run for president, she said, "We'll see what happens then." She also indicated she hopes to show President-elect Obama how Alaska could be a leader in energy policy.

Federal prosecutors have charged former Intel Corp. employee Biswamohan Pani with downloading trade secrets worth $1 billion from the chipmaker while he worked for its rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., according to a criminal complaint unsealed this week.

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Delta Air Lines Inc. will begin charging passengers $15 to check a first bag for flights on or after Dec. 5, the Atlanta-based carrier said Wednesday. Its fee is similar to those already adopted by the five other legacy airlines.

The outcome of Minnesota's Senate race is heading into an automatic recount because of the closeness of Tuesday's results. Incumbent Norm Coleman (R) claimed a 475-vote victory margin over challenger Al Franken (D). The recount, which could take weeks, will start in mid-November.

Boeing's next-generation passenger jet won't make its first flight until sometime next year, the planemaker said Wednesday. The fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliner originally was scheduled to make its inaugural flight in 2007, but has encountered a series of delays, including a just-ended 58-day machinists' strike.

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