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After more than a century of protection from exploitation by military and commercial interests, a number of countries are positioning themselves to seize greater influence in Antarctica on the day its protective treaties expire.

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Correction: Back in 2007, a Russian official announced a scheme to build an underwater rail system linking Siberia to Alaska. Such a railway would require the longest tunnel ever built and expenditures of about $94 billion (by one estimate). More than four years later, the transcontinental railway was in the news again. (more)

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Obama's promise that the U.S. and its allies will put an end to Indian Ocean piracy had the forceful ring to it that good American citizens like to hear, but half the NATO navies aren't going to change the desperate circumstances that turned Somalia's fisherman into pirates.

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Fourth time's the charm? Barack Obama's two official picks to serve as commerce secretary both had to drop out. Another candidate withdrew her name before it was ever announced. Now the president is reported to have offered the job to former Washington Gov. Gary Locke. So who is he?

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Apparently nobody wants to be President Obama's commerce secretary. The second candidate for the post, Sen. Judd Gregg, has dropped out. The Republican senator cited "irresolvable conflicts," including the stimulus package and the census. That's what you get for trying to make nice with those fussy Republicans.

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Bearded political renaissance man and current governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson was picked Wednesday morning to be Barack Obama's secretary of commerce. The unsurprising move makes Richardson the latest politician drafted by Team Obama, who point to Richardson's experience at the U.N., as governor, and as energy secretary.

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Those famous "multiple Democratic sources close to the transition" have revealed three more members of Barack Obama's Cabinet: Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle as secretary of health and human services, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as chief of homeland security and Obama's billionaire buddy and top fundraiser Penny Pritzker to head the Commerce Department. Update: Pritzker is out.

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Instead of buying lots of new cheap things, people are busy stuffing what's left of their money in mattresses. That has China, where the goodies come from, worried. The Chinese government has decided a stimulus is in order, to the tune of 4 trillion yuan (more than $550 billion).

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