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Thankful to be alive...South sees flooding...Storms delay flights

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HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — One Mississippi man whose neighborhood was heavily damaged by yesterday's storms says he's thankful to still be alive. At least ten people were killed in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas as storms and unusually warm temperatures brought rare December tornadoes to the South.

ENTERPRISE, Ala. (AP) — Torrential storms have dumped 10 inches of rain or more across parts of southeast Alabama, causing widespread flooding. Muddy water covered dozens of roads, forcing holiday travelers to take long detours. In Chambers County, emergency officials said two roads had collapsed because of rain, causing natural gas leaks from ruptured lines.

ATLANTA (AP) — Storms extending from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast are causing flight delays for travelers trying to get home for Christmas. Long lines filled concourses at the Atlanta airport today, and flight status boards showed multiple flight cancellations. FlightAware, a website that tracks airline flights, showed 550 flights had been canceled nationwide with 4,276 delays by midday. Atlanta had the largest percentage of delays, according to the site, but many flights also were late in New York and Washington, D.C.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have finished with little change in quiet trading ahead of the Christmas holiday. The market closed three hours early and will remain closed tomorrow for Christmas. Trading volume was extremely light. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 50 points. The S&P 500 edged down three points. The Nasdaq composite rose two points. The price of crude oil rose two percent to $38 a barrel in New York.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's governor has pardoned Robert Downey Jr. for a 1996 drug conviction that sent the actor to prison. Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced today that Downey was among 91 people receiving pardons. Downey was convicted of felony drug possession after he was arrested on a Los Angeles County highway. Authorities found heroin, cocaine and a pistol in his vehicle. In 1999, he was sent to prison for nearly a year after he acknowledged violating his probation. Downey's life and career have rebounded, and he stars as "Iron Man" in Disney's films based on the Marvel comic books.

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