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The Supreme Court Monday left in place an appeals court ruling that allows Arizona to issue "choose life" license plates, while in another case the justices rejected for a third time an appeal by antiabortion activists to undo a $16 million verdict against them. The activists were penalized for using "wanted" posters to identify abortion clinic doctors.

Tens of thousands of people struggling to pay Countrywide Financial Mortgages will have their loan terms modified in 11 states as part of a settlement in a deceptive-practices lawsuit against the Bank of America Corp. subsidiary. The Illinois attorney general's office and California officials negotiated the settlement, which will allow some borrowers to pay nothing but interest for a decade and others to receive help in moving to new homes.

As the result of hurricane Ike, at least a half million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, according to data compiled by the Associated Press. The Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, and state agencies have responded to 3,000 pollution reports, with nearly 1,500 sites still awaiting cleanup.

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