American Paul Krugman is this year's Nobel economics prize winner, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Monday. The academy cited the Princeton University professor and New York Times columnist for his work integrating "the previously disparate research fields of international trade and economic geography."

A wildfire 20 miles north of downtown Los Angeles jumped a fire line early Monday and burned toward the Foothill Freeway and populated areas. The Santa Ana winds grounded firefighting helicopters and fed the fire, which has burned 2,000 acres, closed the highway, and forced the evacuation of about 1,200 people.

President Bush welcomed Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a close ally, to the White House Monday after a weekend spent meeting with finance officials from around the world. Bush vowed global leaders will continue to take "decisive action to restore credit and stability and return to vigorous growth."

The Federal Reserve approved the takeover of Wachovia Corp., a troubled regional bank, by Wells Fargo & Co. of San Francisco on Sunday. Citigroup had also been in the running to absorb Charlotte, N.C.-based Wachovia but dropped out late last week.

Five National Football League games were decided in the last seconds of regulation or in overtime Sunday for the first time since 1970. In one of the wildest finishes, the Arizona Cardinals scored the winning touchdown on a blocked punt in OT after the Dallas Cowboys had tied the game with 10 points in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter.

Texan Richard Garriott became the sixth paying space traveler and the first American to follow a parent into space (his father is former NASA astronaut Owen Garriott) when he entered orbit Sunday aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Ithaca, N.Y., hopes to become the first podcar community in the US, the Associated Press reports. Planning and building professionals, activists, and students are lobbying for the adoption of the automated, lightweight vehicles, which ride on a separate traffic network and have been likened to horizontal elevators.

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