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Almost $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, stock options, and other benefits went last year to senior executives of banks on the federal bailout list, the Associated Press reported Sunday. Its analysis of data obtained from the Securities and Exchange Commission found that the compensation would have covered the bailouts being paid to many of the 116 banks that are accepting taxpayer funds.

A white Christmas appeared inevitable for much of the US as wintry weather over the weekend subjected tens of millions of people to heavy snow and bitter cold. Flight cancellations or delays and closed highways affected travelers from Seattle to Maine, and power outages left many residents of northern Indiana and New Hampshire without electricity. In North Dakota, meteorologists said that state has almost matched the snowfall it received all of last winter. More heavy snow was expected across northern New England Sunday.

President-elect Obama and his family arrived in Hawaii for a 12-day vacation that's likely to be interrupted by intelligence briefings and the probable release of an investigation into whether his aides had any role in the alleged attempt to sell his US Senate seat. He is due to return to Washington Jan. 2, at which time his advisers hope to present him with the draft of a new economic stimulus plan.

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Thirty-eight people were hurt, two of them critically, when a Continental Airlines jet veered off a Denver International Airport runway, plunged into a ravine, and caught fire. Passengers and crew members evacuated the plane via emergency chutes. The flight was bound for Houston. The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

"Effective immediately," the Picower Foundation, one of the nation's leading educational philanthropies, announced it will stop awarding grants. The Palm Beach, Fla.-based organization said it will close its doors in the next few months, citing heavy financial losses due to the alleged fraud by financier Bernard Madoff.

Tens of thousands of fans lingered for postgame ceremonies Saturday night in Dallas as the Cowboys of the National Football League closed Texas Stadium , their home for 37 years. The 65,675-seat structure, one of the most famous sports arenas in the world – in part because of the opening in its roof – will be replaced next year by a far larger stadium. The Cowboys lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 33-24. In Indianapolis, demolition crews imploded the RCA Dome, former home of the NFL's Colts. The team opened the new Lucas Oil Stadium this season.

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