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Associated Press
Houses stand vacant in the Castlemoyne development in North Dublin, Ireland, Friday, Nov. 19, 2010. This development is one of the many, so called, ghost estates that have been been largely abandoned and left unfinished across many parts of Ireland due to the financial crisis which has struck Ireland. Irish officials said Friday that talks are under way in Dublin involving various government departments and agencies together with more than 40 officials from the European Central Bank and Washington-based IMF, as tough negotiations are taking place to avert the crisis over the Irish government debt. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
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Debt-crippled Ireland formally applied Sunday for a massive EU-IMF loan to stem the flight of capital from its banks, joining Greece in a step unthinkable only a few years ago when Ireland was a booming Celtic Tiger and the economic envy of Europe. European Union finance ministers quickly agreed in principle to the bailout, saying it "is warranted to safeguard financial stability in the EU and euro area." But all sides said further weeks of negotiations loomed to define the fund's terms, conditions and precise size.

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia (AP) — A newly revealed North Korean nuclear facility could speed up that unpredictable nation's ability to make and deliver viable nuclear weapons, the Pentagon's top leaders said Sunday. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he doesn't believe the facility is part of a peaceful nuclear energy program.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Drinking glasses depicting comic book and movie characters such as Superman, Wonder Woman and the Tin Man from "The Wizard of Oz" exceed federal limits for lead in children's products by up to 1,000 times, according to laboratory testing commissioned by The Associated Press. The decorative enamel on the superhero and Oz sets — made in China and purchased at a Warner Brothers Studios store in Burbank — contained between 16 percent and 30.2 percent lead. The federal limit on children's products is 0.03 percent.

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A national study finds St. Louis overtook Camden, N.J., as the nation's most dangerous city in 2009. The study released Sunday by CQ Press found St. Louis had 2,070.1 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, compared with a national average of 429.4. That helped St. Louis beat out Camden, which topped last year's list and was the most dangerous city for 2003 and 2004.

NEW YORK (AP) — A Moscow-bound flight carrying about 200 people returned safely to John F. Kennedy International Airport after an engine failed Sunday night, authorities said. No one was injured. Delta Flight 30 reported one engine had failed shortly after takeoff, said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown. The plane departed at about 4:40 p.m. with 193 passengers and 11 crew members, Delta Air Lines said.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Some Catholic believers in the Americas greeted Pope Benedict XVI's comments on condoms as a sign that the church was stepping into the modern debate in the fight against AIDS, though the church was adamant Sunday that nothing has changed in its views banning contraception. Churchgoers had praise and wariness for the pope's comments that condoms could be morally justified in some limited situations, such as for male prostitutes wanting to prevent the spread of HIV.

How did an agency created to protect the public become the target of so much public scorn? After nine years of funneling travelers into ever longer lines with orders to have shoes off, sippy cups empty and laptops out for inspection, the most surprising thing about increasingly heated frustration with the federal Transportation Security Administration may be that it took so long to boil over.

GREYMOUTH, New Zealand (AP) — Rescue officials on Monday were preparing to send a high-tech robot into a mine tunnel to transmit pictures and assess toxic gas levels three days after an explosion left 29 miners missing underground. Police superintendent Gary Knowles, the rescue controller, said the New Zealand defense department had upgraded the robot so it would not create a spark and accidentally ignite a fresh explosion in the mine, near Atarau on South Island.

A cold Los Angeles night didn't stop the stars from showing a little skin as they arrived for the American Music Awards. Miley Cyrus arrived on the Nokia Theatre's red carpet Sunday evening wearing a strapless dress with a flowing train. Avril Lavigne rocked in a mini animal-print dress.

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson wasn't the best all year. Not even close. When it mattered, though, he couldn't be beat.

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