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American Airlines canceled about 850 flights Wednesday, more than one-third of its schedule, as it continued wiring re-inspections of its fleet of MD-80 aircraft. The carrier, which grounded nearly 500 flights Tuesday, is seeking to comply with Federal Aviation Administration rules.

The Federal Housing Administration said Wednesday it would "permit and encourage" lenders to erase some of the failing home loan amount of late-paying mortgagees in order to receive a government guarantee of timely payments. The program seeks to assist as many as 500,000 otherwise creditworthy borrowers to avoid foreclosures.

Child-welfare officials in Texas alleged in court documents released Tuesday that the leaders of a polygamist compound of a fundamentalist Mormon sect in Eldorado, Texas, forces girls to marry older men as soon as they reach puberty. State authorities have taken 416 children from the Yearning for Zion Ranch into custody and continue to search for a 16-year-old who called police anonymously to report abusive treatment.

Needed repairs on the nation's aging water pipelines could cost between $277 billion and $480 billion over the next two decades, according to an Associated Press report on the deteriorating infrastructure, much of which is nearing the end of its life expectancy.

Boston Red Sox fans gave Bill Buckner, the team's once-maligned former first baseman, a standing ovation Tuesday as he threw out the first ceremonial pitch during the team's home opener at Fenway Park. Buckner's famous fielding blooper in the 1986 World Series made him a scapegoat in the team's defeat and led him to avoid returning to the ballpark for many years.


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