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Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist David Cay Johnston wrote Friday that the Occupy Wall Street protests are unlike any demonstrations he has seen in more than 40 years, and that the reasons the movement differs so much are the same reasons why it could succeed in sparking major change. (more)

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Another day, another big merger in the skies: On Monday, Southwest Airlines announced that it had scooped up rival AirTran Airways, the second such acquisition this month after United and Continental joined forces.

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Shareholders of Continental and United Airlines have finally voted to form a more perfect United Airlines, merging the two companies under United's name to create the world's largest airline service, overtaking its closest U.S. rival -- the newly merged Delta and Northwest Airlines -- and European carriers.

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At least a dozen United Airlines employees reported seeing a flying saucer hovering over Chicago's O'Hare Airport on Nov. 7, and they're upset that no one -- from the FAA to their own company -- is taking them seriously. One of the tower controllers summed up the generally disingenuous response to the sighting: "To fly 7 million light-years to O'Hare and then have to turn around and go home because your gate was occupied is simply unacceptable."

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The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to impose sanctions against North Korea in light of its recent nuclear test. Though financial and military aid is restricted, the sanctions do not allow for military action, and skeptics question how effectively the rules will be enforced.

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North Korea's No. 2 leader, Kim Yong-nam, threatened a second nuclear test if the U.S. refuses to back down: "If the United States continues to take a hostile attitude and apply pressure on us in various forms, we will have no choice but to take physical steps to deal with that."

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Sealed borders, regular military incursions and poor quality of life have brought Gaza to the breaking point, a UN official has said Karen Abuzayd, head of the U Relief and Works Agency, also warned that current tactics for dealing with Gaza have failed to inspire a spirit of compromise among Palestinians, and instead foster anger and resentment.

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Not to be outdone by the Italians, France has raised its troop commitment to 2,000, hoping to retain its leadership role in the peacekeeping effort in Lebanon. Kofi Annan was initially displeased with Europe's response to the call for a peacekeeping force.

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