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In interviews with reporters from McClatchy Newspapers in October, cemetery workers in Najaf, Iraq, lamented the recent downturn in violence in that city, as they admitted having grown accustomed to the income from the estimated 6,500 caskets a month that they serviced. (The number had fallen to less than 4,000 a month, and others dependent on the death industry around Najaf were said to be similarly suffering.)

In October, following 18 months' investigation, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission concluded that the state government requires too many reports (a total of more than 1,600). About one-fourth of them either were duplicative of others or were still required even though the receiving agency no longer exists or are dutifully prepared year after year even though it is evident that they go unread. The commission issued its findings in a 668-page report.

What Goes Around, Comes Around: Tajuan Bullock, 33, was allegedly caught in the act of burglarizing a home in Montgomery, Ala., in October, and, while the resident held him at gunpoint for police, he made Bullock clean up the big mess he had made when he was rummaging for valuables.

Police in Bakersfield, Calif., came to the aid of a man and a woman at the bottom of the Panorama Bluffs near town and told reporters later that the man had attempted to toss his girlfriend over the cliff but that she grabbed him, and the pair tumbled down 300 feet together (and that he was hurt worse than she).

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