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By Compiled from wire service reports by Ross Atkin / November 19, 2008



Seeking to reduce holiday flight delays, President Bush called for the opening of certain military air corridors in a speech to the Transportation Department Tuesday. In addition to East Coast airspace freed up last year during Thanksgiving, the Pentagon will also open air lanes in the Mideast, South-west, and the West Coast. The White House is also working with the airlines to make sure there's sufficient staffing.

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Roughly 12 percent of Americans struggled to get enough food to maintain active, healthy lives in 2007, the Agriculture Department reported in its latest annual report on food security. The number of children experiencing disruptions in the amount of food they eat rose 50 percent to some 691,000. Social service organizations expect the incidence of hunger to grow this year, based on increased demand during the current economic downturn.

President Bush took another step in normalizing US-Libya relations Monday, when he expressed satisfaction in Tripoli's $1.5 billion settlement of terror attacks in a phone call to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. Both men agreed that the Oct. 31 payment ends an extended period of poor relations. The money will go largely toward paying claims in the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, and the 1986 bombing of a German discotheque.

Billionaire Mark Cuban said he will contest insider-trading charges leveled against him Monday by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC alleges that the owner of pro basketball's Dallas Mavericks used confidential information to sell 600,000 shares of the search engine company Mamma.com Inc. before the price fell 9.3 percent in 2004, thus avoiding losses of more than $750,000.

An international summit on greenhouse gas emissions opened in Los Angeles Tuesday. About 700 scientists, environmentalists, and government industry officials are attending the conference, hosted by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). He hopes the summit will influence negotiations over a new global climate treaty at a United Nations gathering in Poland next month.

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts was applauded Monday by colleagues as he entered the Senate chamber and pledged his efforts to enact healthcare reform even while making a physical comeback. He had brain surgery in June. Above, he and wife Victoria Reggie Kennedy (l.) met with reporters as they arrived on Capitol Hill.

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols was named MVP of the National League Monday for the second time on the strength of his .357 batting average, 37 home runs, and 116 RBIs. Philadelphia's Ryan Howard finished second in media balloting. Pujols was the MVP in 2005, too.

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