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Almost $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, stock options, and other benefits went last year to senior executives of banks on the federal bailout list, the Associated Press reported Sunday. Its analysis of data obtained from the Securities and Exchange Commission found that the compensation would have covered the bailouts being paid to many of the 116 banks that are accepting taxpayer funds.

A white Christmas appeared inevitable for much of the US as wintry weather over the weekend subjected tens of millions of people to heavy snow and bitter cold. Flight cancellations or delays and closed highways affected travelers from Seattle to Maine, and power outages left many residents of northern Indiana and New Hampshire without electricity. In North Dakota, meteorologists said that state has almost matched the snowfall it received all of last winter. More heavy snow was expected across northern New England Sunday.

President-elect Obama and his family arrived in Hawaii for a 12-day vacation that's likely to be interrupted by intelligence briefings and the probable release of an investigation into whether his aides had any role in the alleged attempt to sell his US Senate seat. He is due to return to Washington Jan. 2, at which time his advisers hope to present him with the draft of a new economic stimulus plan.

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