Speaking in Las Vegas on Monday, President Obama announced a plan for homeowners to refinance mortgages at low interest rates, if they met certain conditions.

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Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, businessman Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann participate in a Republican presidential debate last week in Las Vegas.

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Occupy Boston protesters congregate across the street from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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A bank-owned sign is seen in front of a foreclosed home in Miami. Florida was among the hardest hit states in the real estate collapse.

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A truck stop near Hesperia, Calif. To address a shortage of truck drivers resulting from a mismatch of skills in the labor market, some trucking companies have started free driving schools with the promise of a job upon completion.

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SawStop, a table saw safety tool, senses an electrical current in skin and triggers a brake when a finger comes into contact with the blade. Courtesy of SawStop hide caption

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One proposal for saving homeowners money is to have government-backed firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac extend their loan guarantees to cover new, cheaper, refinanced loans. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

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A worker sweeps in front of a Bank of America branch in Chicago. On Monday, the bank announced plans to lay off 30,000 employees, or about 10 percent of its staff, over the next few years. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Retired Port Authority Police officers Brian Patrick Tierney (left) and Kevin Devlin visited the World Trade Center site this week. Both men say it's been a struggle to adjust to normal life after losing friends and searching for remains at Ground Zero. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

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Irene destroyed much of the two-mile boardwalk in Spring Lake, N.J. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images hide caption

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Near record low mortgage rates are good news for the few who can afford to buy a home or are able to refinance. But the rates have done little to lift the ailing housing market. Bill Sikes/AP hide caption

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