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By Compiled from wire service reports by Ross Atkin / December 24, 2008



The attorney for Sen. Ted Stevens (R) of Alaska asked that his client's November conviction on corruption charges be thrown out because of alleged government cheating and lying in obtaining the guilty verdict. A US district judge is expected to hold a hearing on the complaints in early January.

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Crews scrambled to rescue motorists in Bethesda, Md., outside Washington, D.C., Tuesday who were stranded in frigid waters gushing from a massive, water-main break. Officials said at least a dozen people were helped to safety and no injuries were reported.

The number of tax-return audits fell 4.7 percent this year, leading to a $3 billion drop in money collected from audits and other reviews, the Internal Revenue Service said Monday. It was the first year-to-year decrease in collections in a decade, due largely to a shift in agency resources to focus on distributing economic stimulus checks.

An unusually heavy 11 to 13 inches of snow blanketed Portland, Ore., by early Monday, and 14.5 inches cloaked Portland, Maine. In the Midwest, people coped with subzero temperatures and wind-chill factors.

An Iraqi who tried to shield the identities of Iraqi intelligence agents working in the US pleaded guilty Monday in Baltimore. Saubhe Jassim Al-Dellemy could face as much as five years in prison for aiding spying by former dictator Saddam Hussein's government. The US Justice Department has charged at least a dozen people in similar cases since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

For the first time since Abraham Lincoln, the Bible used in his swearing in will see service at an inauguration when President-elect Obama takes the oath of office Jan. 20, event planners said Tuesday. The Bible is housed at the Library of Congress.

The Environmental Protection Agency put 221 counties in 25 states on notice of their failure to meet federal air-quality standards, including 30 in California, which has the most problems with fine-particle pollution. The biggest factors contributing to such pollution were vehicle emissions, large livestock operations, power plants, industrial facilities, and wood stoves and fireplaces.

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