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Cynan Jones' powerful new novel uses the idea of the badger and the sett -- its den -- as an allegory "for the way we try to create a safe space for ourselves and the things we care for, and how some external force can break into and destroy that."

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Given that unemployment has been steadily decreasing, it would be safe to assume that all the 20-somethings who went back to living with their parents during the recession would be moving out again. Wrong. Statistics now indicate 21.6 million people between 18 and 31 are staying at home or moving back in.

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The Tennessee Senate has passed legislation that would keep teachers from educating their students about homosexuality, with language in the bill asserting that "some subjects are best explained and discussed at home."

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At long last, a little good news from the real estate market: The National Association of Realtors reported a 10 percent rise in existing home sales in September, but buyers are still skittish about foreclosures and the country's job problems figure into the long-term prognosis as well.

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A British insurance price comparison service is predicting that use of social media could eventually lead to increases in home insurance premiums. Membership on Twitter or Facebook could become just another variable in determining costs, based on fears that such sites let potential criminals know when a user is not at home.

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Sectarian violence has driven millions of Iraqis from their homes. Now that the violence has abated in one formerly upscale Baghdad neighborhood, residents are returning to find squatters who refuse to leave and a government and occupying army unwilling to kick them out.

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