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Business Highlights

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OECD issues stark warning on global economy

PARIS (AP) â¿¿ The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Monday policy makers around the world must "be prepared to face the worst," as the economic impact of Europe's debt crisis threatens to spread around the developed world.

The Paris-based OECD said in its latest Economic Outlook that continued failure by EU leaders to stem the debt crisis that has spread from Greece to much-bigger Italy "could massively escalate economic disruption" and end in "highly devastating outcomes."

The half-yearly update also recommended urgently boosting the EU bailout fund and called on Europe's central bank to do more to stem the crisis.

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Sales of new homes rise in October, but prices fall

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Slightly more Americans bought new homes in October, a hopeful sign for the troubled housing market. But the median sales price fell to its lowest level of the year, and the overall sales pace is trailing last year's â¿¿ the worst performance in half a century.

The report suggests housing continues to drag on the U.S. economy and is a long way from recovering.

New-home sales increased 1.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000, the Commerce Department said Monday. That's less than half the 700,000 that economists say must be sold to sustain a healthy housing market.

September's figures were also revised down significantly to show a weaker pace than first estimated.

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Icahn makes a run at Commercial Metals

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Carl Icahn said Monday that he wants to buy Commercial Metals Co. for about $1.73 billion and combine parts of it with metals recycling businesses that he already owns.

The billionaire investor, who already owns almost 10 percent of Commercial Metals, said he also plans to nominate three of his associates to be directors on its board.

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