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In addition, 12 million people, or 42 percent of those who were poor in the 2004 calendar year, were not in poverty by 2006.

The median length of a poverty spell was 4.5 months, the bureau found.

However, many people still struggled financially: More than half the people who left poverty still lived with incomes just above the poverty line, the bureau said in “Dynamics of Economic Well-being: Poverty, 2004-2006.”

FLORIDA

NASA’s humanoid robot unpacked

CAPE CANAVERAL | The first humanoid robot ever launched into space is finally free.

Astronauts at the International Space Station unpacked Robonaut on Tuesday, 2½ weeks after its arrival via the shuttle Discovery. NASA broadcast the humorous unveiling ceremony on Wednesday.

American Catherine Coleman and Italian Paolo Nespoli pried off the lid of the robot’s packing box as though they were opening a coffin. TV cameras showed lots of foam inside, but no robot.

“It’s like unearthing a mummy,” radioed a payload controller at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

“Well, at least the mummy would be here,” Miss Coleman replied. “We just have an empty box where Robonaut is supposed to be.”

Robonaut — also known as R2 was spotted a minute later in front of a work station.

“I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of our crew,” Miss Coleman said. “We’re going to see what Robonaut can do.”

INDIANA

Top donor indicted, faces SEC charges

INDIANAPOLIS | A former Indianapolis businessman and top Republican donor was indicted Wednesday on charges stemming from an investigation into whether he operated a Ponzi scheme to defraud investors of hundreds of millions of dollars.

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