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      ALUMINUM PLANT IN JIZAN TO GENERATE 12,000 JOBS
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     K.S. Ramkumar, Arab News JEDDAH, 24 December 2006 — The aluminum complex under construction at Jizan Economic City (JEC) – the fourth economic city to be promoted by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) — expects to create some 12,000 new jobs. One of JEC’s anchor investments, the aluminum comple >>>


      KASCT, AL–FAISALIAH GROUP SIGN DEAL ON ICT
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Javid Hassan, Arab News RIYADH, 24 December 2006 — In line with the Kingdom’s move to establish IT parks and knowledge–based industry in the economic cities, King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology signed here yesterday a Memorandum of Understanding with the Al–Faisaliah Group to conduct a feasibilit >>>


      LEBANON–BASED FIRM LAUNCHES MUTUAL FUNDS MONITOR
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Maha Akeel, Arab News JEDDAH, 24 December 2006 — Zawya, a Lebanon–based business information company, launched a first of its kind Mutual Funds Monitor. The MFM is a monitoring service covering mutual funds in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Coverage includes funds investing at least 50 percent o >>>


      MULLA SATISFIED WITH TELECOM FACILITIES AT HOLY SITES
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Galal Fakkar, Arab News MUZDALIFA, Makkah, 24 December 2006 — Minister of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) Muhammad Jameel Mulla expressed his satisfaction at the elaborate telecommunication and postal facilities in place at Makkah and the holy sites following a three–hour field inspection yesterday >>>


      FOOD: UNDERSTAND THE BASIC PRINCIPLES, OBSERVE THE RULES
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Adil Salahi, Arab News Q. Muslims who live abroad have different views on what is permissible to eat and what is forbidden. Some insist on specific conditions with regard to meat; some refuse to eat non–meat products for fear that lard might have been used in frying; some fear that the food might have been contami >>>


      THE CYCLE OF LIFE AND DEATH
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Commentary by Sayyid Qutb In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful Extol, then, Gods limitless glory both in your evening hours and in your morning hours.

To Him is due all praise in the heavens and the earth, at twilight and at noon.

He it is who brings forth the living out of that whi >>>


      THE PROPHET AS A MAN &#8212; 107: USING WEAPONS
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Print Article | Comment on Article

The Prophet as a Man 107: Using Weapons Adil Salahi, Arab News

A Hadith reported by Anas ibn Malik mentions that "the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to have a spear or a staff which he might stick in the ground so that he would be facing it when praying." >>>


      AL–RABEEAH EXAMINES OMANI TWINS
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Mohammed Rasooldeen, Arab News RIYADH, 24 December 2006 — The Omani conjoined twins Safa and Marwa were brought here by their parents on Friday for medical evaluation and possible separation surgery.

The twins arrived at King Khaled Airport by a Gulf Air flight from Muscat and were received by Sami Al–Sha >>>


      EXPAT RACKET FORGING HAJ PERMITS BUSTED
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Saeed Al–Abyad, Arab News JEDDAH, 24 December 2006 — Passport officials arrested three Asian and African expatriates in Jeddah yesterday who are suspected of running a network for the forgery and circulation of fake Haj permits.

The officials seized from the suspected forgers’ hideout seals of various gov >>>


      FUEL PRICES WILL NOT INCREASE, SAYS AL–NAIMI
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News JEDDAH, 24 December 2006 — Saudi Arabia yesterday dropped plans to increase fuel prices and said as of Jan. 1 it would sell Premium '5 gasoline for 60 halalas and Premium '1 for 45 halalas per liter, instead of the previously announced prices of 75 and 60 halalas, respectively. The >>>


      IT’S HIGH SEASON FOR RIYADH’S WOOD MARKET
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Ali Al–Zahrani, Arab News RIYADH, 24 December 2006 — Wintertime in Riyadh is a time when people gather around sources of heat — not just in their homes, but also for those drawn to desert camping during this time of year when the weather is oppressively cold.

Despite technologically modern options for hom >>>


      JEDDAH DOCS FINALLY GET THEIR INTERNSHIP ALLOWANCES
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Razan Baker, Arab News The medical interns flash their pay checks that they received after a protracted legal battle. (AN photo by Marwan Al–Johani)

JEDDAH, 24 December 2006 — A group of Jeddah medical interns who had their pay cuts prematurely applied to them received their checks yesterday after winding >>>


      ONE IN FOUR MARRIAGES ENDS UP IN DIVORCE
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Arab News JEDDAH, 24 December 2006 — Nearly one in four marriages in the Kingdom ends in divorce, according to a Justice Ministry report published yesterday.

For 105,066 marriage contracts registered last year, 24,000 divorce cases were recorded by the ministry, Asharq Al–Awsat newspaper said, quoting the >>>


      SAUDI–OMAN SUMMIT TO FOCUS ON ME
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Khaled Almaeena King Abdullah is received by Sultan Qaboos of Oman on arrival at the Muscat airport on Saturday. (SPA)

MUSCAT, 24 December 2006 — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah received an unprecedented welcome when he arrived here yesterday on his first visit since becoming king. Sultan Qaboos >>>


      SCORES, INCLUDING HAJIS, OFFER TO PAY BABY’S ‘RANSOM’
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Mohammed Rasooldeen & Hasan Hatrash, Arab News Baby Shan after his release. RIYADH, 24 December 2006 — News that a public hospital in Riyadh was holding a newborn baby to ransom because a poor couple didn’t have the funds to pay for the delivery of the infant touched a Pakistani man in Riyadh enough that he showed u >>>


      UNDERGROUND DAMS BEING CONSIDERED TO MEET WATER DEMAND
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News JEDDAH, 24 December 2006 — Higher authorities in the Kingdom are currently studying an SR20 billion water bank project to meet the country’s growing water requirements.

According to Muhammad Habeeb Al–Bukhari, an expert at the Water Research Center of King Abdul Aziz Universi >>>


      WHEN SHOPPERS HARASS, WHAT’S A WOMAN TO DO?
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Hassna’a Mokhtar, Arab News JEDDAH, 24 December 2006 — Rola Grimli, a Saudi in her mid–40s, was shopping with her mother recently in a Danube supermarket when a tall, well–dressed man became outraged that she wasn’t wearing the «niqab».

«He said to me: ‘Cover your hair and face, sh >>>


      ABBAS, OLMERT MEET IN JERUSALEM
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Hisham Abu Taha, Arab News GAZA CITY, 24 December 2006 — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert held a long–overdue summit in Jerusalem yesterday, reviving hopes that peace talks can resume after years of fighting, hostility and distrust.

The meeting, announced just hou >>>


      INMATE DIES IN PRISON RIOT
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Shahid Raza Burney, Arab News MUMBAI, 24 December 2006 — A clash between rival groups of prisoners in the high security Arthur Road jail here yesterday morning resulted in the death of one inmate and injuries to three . The dead man was identified as John D’Souza. The injured prisoners were taken to the nearby JJ Hospit >>>


      ISLAMABAD, DELHI TO SURVEY DISPUTED ESTUARY
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Azhar Masood & Agencies ISLAMABAD, 24 December 2006 — Pakistani and Indian officials agreed yesterday to conduct a joint survey of Sir Creek — a disputed estuary — on their border.

The agreement on the survey of the estuary, that flows into the Arabian sea between the Pakistani province of Sindh and the Ind >>>


      TOP TALEBAN LEADER KILLED
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Jason Straziuso, Associated Press KABUL, 24 December 2006 — A top Taleban military commander described as a close associate of Osama Bin Laden and Taleban leader Mullah Omar was killed in an airstrike this week close to the border with Pakistan, the US military said yesterday. A Taleban spokesman denied the claim.
< >>>


      UN COUNCIL SLAPS FIRST EVER NUCLEAR SANCTIONS ON IRAN
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Agence France Presse UNITED NATIONS, 24 December 2006 — The Security Council yesterday slapped the first ever UN sanctions on Iran, targeting its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in response to its refusal to halt sensitive nuclear fuel work.

In a resolution adopted unanimously, the 15–member counci >>>


      UNIVERSITY FOR CHILDREN OF NRIS PLANNED
      Arab News, 24-12-2006
     Mohammed Ashraf, Arab News THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, 24 December 2006 — India will open a university for the children of non–resident Indians (NRIs) in a special economic zone where government control will be minimal, according to Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi. «NRIs in the service sector cannot af >>>


      ARMADILLOS MARCHING NORTH TO ILLINOIS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     MURPHYSBORO, Ill. –– For years, Lloyd Nelson laughed off as myth reports that armadillos _ those armored, football–sized critters with the big claws and bigger nose _ had waddled their way into southern Illinois, the same place folks say they‘ve seen cougars.

Folks weren‘t fibbing >>>


      BUSH MAKES CHRISTMAS EVE CALLS TO TROOPS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     WASHINGTON –– President Bush, who is spending Christmas at the Camp David presidential retreat, called 10 members of the U.S. military on Sunday to thank them for their service and wish them a happy holiday.

During the calls, which were placed to troops stationed overseas or have recently returned f >>>


      CANDIDATES TURN TO WEB TO REACH VOTERS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     WASHINGTON –– Al Gore claimed he invented it. John McCain predicted it would revolutionize political campaigning. Howard Dean made it pay _ and then some.

Ah, the Internet. As candidates prepare for the 2008 presidential campaign, the Internet is the new Main Street. An estimated 70 percent of adult >>>


      CHRISTMAS TREE STANDS SELL OUT IN N.O.
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     NEW ORLEANS –– Clement‘s Hardware always ended the Christmas season with a few unsold tree stands. But that was before Hurricane Katrina.

"Stands are the big thing this year, and we‘re flat out," said Darren Clement, whose family has run the store for 26 years.

It&lsqu >>>


      DEC. 24 BECOMES PARTY NIGHT FOR JEWISH SINGLES
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     MIAMI –– With no cookies to leave out for Santa, no church to attend and no expectation of presents in the morning, Christmas Eve used to hold little appeal for non–Christians.

But now many are developing traditions of their own, thanks to night–before–Christmas parties such as the >>>


      DENVER AIRPORT OPERATING AT CAPACITY
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     DENVER –– Even with a few added flights, planes leaving Denver‘s beleaguered airport Christmas Eve teemed with passengers, many of whom had been stranded when a two–day blizzard shut down the runways last week.

The airport‘s two biggest airlines, United and Frontier, said they fina >>>


      GENERAL ASSEMBLY OKS U.N. RENOVATION
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     PM UNITED NATIONS –– The General Assembly finally gave a green light to start a $1.' billion renovation of the U.N.‘s landmark headquarters in New York after years of delays, a move welcomed Saturday by outgoing Secretary–General Kofi Annan.

The 3'–story glass–and&nda >>>


      IRAQIS‘ SUIT TARGETS 2 FIRMS IN U.N. OIL–FOR–FOOD PROGRAM
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     NEW YORK, Dec. 22 –– Seven Iraqi citizens filed a $200 million lawsuit Friday against a prominent European bank and an Australian wheat exporter, saying the Iraqis were cheated out of humanitarian goods when the companies permitted the U.N. oil–for–food program to be corrupted.

The lawsu >>>


      JONBENET: 10 YEARS, NO END TO MYSTERY
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     BOULDER, Colo. –– A decade after the Christmastime slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, two aspects of the case endure: the public‘s fascination with the murder of the 6–year–old beauty contestant, and a sense for some that the notorious crime may never be solved.

Interest in the case was b >>>


      NATION IN BRIEF
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     Panel Reprimands Federal Judge in Calif. LOS ANGELES –– A judicial discipline council has delivered a rare reprimand of a federal judge after he improperly seized control of a bankruptcy case to protect a probationer he was supervising.

But it is unclear when, or even whether, the decision of the ju >>>


      NYC DISC JOCKEY SHOT 13 TIMES DIES
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     NEW YORK –– A popular hip–hop disc jockey died Saturday after being shot at least 13 times earlier this month, police said.

Carl Blaze, born Carlos Rivera, was shot outside an apartment building near Manhattan‘s Inwood section on Dec. 7, and his jewelry was robbed.

Blaze, 30, wa >>>


      PHOENIX SLAYINGS INFORMANT SPEAKS OUT
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     PHOENIX –– As the city shuttered itself in fear of serial killers this summer, Ron Horton found himself having an odd conversation with an old drinking buddy.

"Let me ask you something," Horton remembers his friend, Samuel John Dieteman, sliding over to tell him between beers in June. &quo >>>


      PHOENIX SLAYINGS INFORMANT SPEAKS OUT
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     PHOENIX –– As the city shuttered itself in fear of serial killers this summer, Ron Horton found himself having an odd conversation with an old drinking buddy. "Let me ask you something," Horton remembers his friend, Samuel John Dieteman, sliding over to tell him between beers in June. "Do you >>>


      SCHWARZENEGGER BREAKS LEG WHILE SKIING
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     SAN FRANCISCO –– California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger broke his leg while skiing with his family Saturday morning in Sun Valley, Idaho, a spokesman said.

Schwarzenegger, 5', was taken to a hospital for X–rays and was discharged with a fracture to his right femur, said Adam Mendelsohn, the >>>


      SMALL EARTHQUAKE RATTLES S.F. BAY AREA
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     BERKELEY, Calif. –– A third small earthquake in four days rattled the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday, but there were no reports of injuries or damage.

The temblor that struck at ':21 a.m. had a preliminary magnitude of 3.5 and a depth of about 6.1 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Surv >>>


      SPECIAL AGENT
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     Mike Mason was closing the deal when the police moved in. Inside a black Pontiac Firebird parked at a mall, he was buying a kilo of cocaine. Suddenly he saw flashing blue lights and grabbed the door handle.

It was too late. Police officers and federal agents were on him. "Freeze! You‘re under arrest! >>>


      STORM CUTS POWER TO THOUSANDS IN WIS.
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     PM MILWAUKEE –– A winter storm dumped 7 inches of wet, heavy snow on central Wisconsin, leaving thousands of people without electricity and disrupting holiday preparations.

Wisconsin Public Service Corp. reported more than 1',000 customers without electricity Saturday evening. About half of the >>>


      TWO TIMBER FIRMS PRETENDING TO BE ‘GREEN,‘ GROUPS ALLEGE
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     By Blaine HardenWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, December 24, 2006; A03 SEATTLE –– Two of the nation‘s largest timber companies, Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek Timber, have polished their public images for years by participating in a program that certifies that their logging is environmentally friendly >>>


      AN AGE OF ANXIETY, THROUGH ARTISTS‘ EYES
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     All the ladies in Washington scrambling to get out of town/Looks like something bad gonna happen, better roll your airplane down.

–– Bob Dylan, "Thunder on the Mountain" Any attempt at holiday cheer faces a long, hard Rumsfeldian slog as 2006 ends. Iraq‘s conflict has metastasized in >>>


      CLINTON, OBAMA ECLIPSE EVEN STARS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     By Dan BalzWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, December 24, 2006; A01 Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D–N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D–Ill.), trading on star power, the capacity to raise tens of millions of dollars with relative ease and an ability to dominate media attention, are rewriting the script of the 20 >>>


      ELECTION CHALLENGE FOR FLORIDA DISTRICT IS TAKEN TO THE HOUSE
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     A battle over who won the congressional election in Florida‘s 13th District is in the courts and could be debated in Congress itself.

Christine Jennings, the Democrat, informed Congress last week that she was contesting the election, claiming that electronic voting machines malfunctioned and that state of >>>


      FORD TRIES TO OUTRACE THE REPO MAN
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     DEARBORN, Mich. –– If Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Co.‘s chief executive, is looking for fresh words to inspirit his troubled company –– words to replace "The Way Forward," which rang hollow as Ford slid further backward –– he might try: "Lay off the cheeseburgers, Am >>>


      HOW FREE TRADE HURTS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     Fewer and fewer Americans support our government‘s trade policy. They see a shrinking middle class, lost jobs and exploding trade deficits.

Yet supporters of free trade continue to push for more of the same –– more job–killing trade agreements, greater tax breaks for large corporations t >>>


      IS IT ALL YELTSIN‘S FAULT?
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     "Great historical transformations are always bought dearly, often after one has already thought that one got them at a bargain price," wrote the 1'th–century historian Jacob Burckhardt. Tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the occasion will surely revive debate >>>


      LAWMAKER ADMITS CALL FOR CASTRO‘S ASSASSINATION
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     MIAMI, Dec. 23 –– The top Republican on the next Congress‘s House International Relations Committee acknowledged Saturday calling for the assassination of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, two weeks after saying she never made the remark.

In a 28–second video posted on YouTube, Rep. Ileana Ros& >>>


      MD. DEATH PENALTY MAY COME TO FORE
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     24, 2006; C01 The emotionally charged, polarizing issue of the death penalty was barely mentioned during the campaign for Maryland governor. And it hardly seemed something that Gov.–elect Martin O‘Malley would be eager to wade into during his first months in office, when he plans to focus on "the things >>>


      PARTIES URGE AGING LAWMAKERS TO HANG ON FOR ONE MORE TERM
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     By Shailagh MurrayWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, December 24, 2006; A04 The Republicans‘ stinging losses last month could be magnified in 2008 if veteran GOP Senate and House members decide to retire, including numerous lawmakers who will be 70 or older on that Election Day.

Sen. Tim Johnson‘s >>>


      REUTERS POLITICS SUMMARY
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     U.S. says U.N. Iran resolution not enough WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States cheered the U.N.

Security Council‘s adoption of sanctions on Saturday aimed at pressuring Iran to halt uranium enrichment work, but called on Russia, China and others to take tougher measures on their own.

In >>>


      THE TALK SHOWS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     Guests to be interviewed today on major television talk shows: FOX NEWS SUNDAY (WTTG), ' a.m.: Lynne Cheney; Archbishop of Washington Donald W. Wuerl; Anne Graham Lotz, founder of Angel Ministries.

THIS WEEK (ABC, WJLA), ' a.m.: Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (D–Conn.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R–S. >>>


      U.S. HAILS U.N. RESOLUTION AGAINST IRAN
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     PM WASHINGTON –– The Bush administration said Saturday it hopes the U.N. resolution penalizing Iran for its nuclear enrichment program will clear the way for tougher measures against Tehran by individual countries, particularly Russia.

"We don‘t think this resolution is enough in itself,& >>>


      U.S. OFFICIALS MEET ON CUBA
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top Bush administration officials met this week to discuss Cuba‘s political future, with U.S.

intelligence reports predicting that ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro may not have long to live.

President George W. Bush‘s national security adviser Stephen Hadley cha >>>


      U.S. SAYS U.N. IRAN RESOLUTION NOT ENOUGH
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States cheered the U.N. Security Council‘s adoption of sanctions on Saturday aimed at pressuring Iran to halt uranium enrichment work, but called on Russia, China and others to take tougher measures on their own.

In a statement, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice ur >>>


      WHY DOESN‘T WHITE ADOPT BLACK?
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     Whenever I see a white couple with an Asian or Hispanic child, I can‘t help wondering whether adoption –– like the personal ads –– is one of the last areas of American life where naked expressions of racial preference are acceptable.

I know that sentiment seems ungenerous. Most of >>>


      3 U.S. SOLDIERS DIE IN BAGHDAD BOMBING
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     BAGHDAD, Iraq –– A roadside bomb killed three American soldiers in Baghdad and a suicide bomber killed at least seven Iraqi policemen north of the capital, authorities said Sunday.

The soldiers, from the 8'th Military Police Brigade, were killed Saturday in east Baghdad when the explosive detona >>>


      ARCHIVE HELPS DETAIL SCOPE OF NAZI CAMPS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     BAD AROLSEN, Germany –– Within weeks of Hitler‘s 1'33 rise to power, the iron gates slammed shut on inmates of the first Nazi concentration camps.

It was the start of an unparalleled experiment in persecution and genocide that expanded over the next 12 years into a pyramid of ghettos, Gest >>>


      ASIA FLOODS KILL 20, DISPLACE 170,000
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     JAKARTA, Indonesia –– Heavy rains in parts of Malaysia and Indonesia unleashed floods that killed at least 20 people and forced 170,000 others to abandon their homes.

At least 13 people were killed and 14 others were missing in torrential rains that swept Indonesia‘s provinces of Aceh and Nort >>>


      CHINESE OFFICIAL FIRED FOR MISCONDUCT
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     BEIJING –– A top Communist Party official in China‘s booming eastern province of Shandong has been fired for misconduct, state media announced Sunday amid an anti–corruption crackdown.

Du Shicheng was dismissed as provincial deputy party secretary due to "serious discipline violatio >>>


      COCAINE ON '4 PERCENT OF SPANISH BANKNOTES
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     MADRID (Reuters) – Traces of cocaine can be found on '4 percent of banknotes in Spain, a country that has one of the world‘s highest rates of users, according to a study published on Sunday.

The 100 notes tested were collected in gyms, supermarkets and pharmacies across Spain, where increased af >>>


      ETHIOPIA FIGHTS RIVAL SOMALI ISLAMISTS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     BAIDOA, Somalia (Reuters) – Ethiopian forces, committed to defending an interim Somali government holed up in the town of Baidoa, launched airstrikes on Sunday against Islamist fighters across the country, witnesses said.

Ethiopian Information Minister Berhan Hailu said the operation targeted several fron >>>


      ETHIOPIA LAUNCHES AIRSTRIKES IN SOMALIA
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     AM MOGADISHU, Somalia –– Ethiopian fighter jets pounded several Somali towns held by a powerful Islamic militia, a sharp escalation in violence that could engulf the volatile Horn of Africa, witnesses and a militia official said.

The airstrikes hit the strategic town of Belet Weyne on the Ethiopian >>>


      EXPLOSIONS KILL 4 U.S. SOLDIERS IN IRAQ
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     BAGHDAD, Iraq –– Four American soldiers were killed in weekend explosions, the U.S. military said Sunday, and a suicide bomber killed at least seven Iraqi policemen north of the capital.

Three soldiers from the 8'th Military Police Brigade, were killed Saturday in east Baghdad when a roadside bo >>>


      FILIPINOS GATHER IN VA. BEFORE DAWN FOR AN ANNUAL RITE
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     By Tara BahrampourWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, December 24, 2006; A12 The sky was dark and wet fog hung over the roadways, but just before 5 a.m. yesterday, car headlights converged in Arlington.

Outside the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church hung four "parols," the Filipino term for the star >>>


      FLOOD DEATH TOLL PASSES 20 IN INDONESIA‘S SUMATRA
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     JAKARTA (Reuters) – Floods in Indonesia‘s Aceh and North Sumatra provinces have left at least 22 people dead and six missing, Health Ministry official Rustam Pakaya told Reuters on Sunday.

Casualty counts were still coming in from Aceh and North Sumatra provinces, hardest hit by heavy rains that sen >>>


      FLOOD DEATH TOLL REACHES 30 IN INDONESIA‘S SUMATRA
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     JAKARTA (Reuters) – Floods in Indonesia‘s Aceh and North Sumatra provinces have left at least 30 people dead and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes, Health Ministry official Rustam Pakaya said on Sunday.

Casualty counts were still coming in from Aceh and North Sumatra provinces, hardest hi >>>


      HASINA TO CONTEST BANGLADESH ELECTION
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     DHAKA (Reuters) – A multiparty alliance led by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said it would contest elections on January 22, after officials extended the deadline for candidate nominations by two days.

"We have decided to contest the election and will submit nominations on Tuesday,&quo >>>


      INDONESIAN POLICE GUARDING CHURCHES
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     AM JAKARTA, Indonesia –– Tens of thousands of police deployed at churches across Indonesia Sunday amid warnings by Western nations that Islamic militants may be plotting Christmas bombings.

Indonesian officials downplayed the alerts, which have become something of a tradition themselves since Christ >>>


      KEEPING CHRISTMAS ALIVE ON A BAGHDAD STREET CORNER
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     By Nancy TrejosWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, December 24, 2006; A14 BAGHDAD –– Nouri Dawoud has one of the most dangerous jobs in Baghdad.

He sells Christmas trees. For seven hours a day, he stands on the same street corner in a neighborhood where drive–by shootings and snipers are not u >>>


      KEY IRAQI CLERIC REJECTS U.S. BID FOR MODERATE POLITICAL BLOC
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     24, 2006; A14 BAGHDAD, Dec. 23 –– Iraq‘s most revered Shiite Muslim cleric has rejected calls for a U.S.–backed effort to form a bloc of moderate Shiite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders to isolate extremists in the government, Shiite leaders said Saturday.

Members of the United Iraqi Alli >>>


      LEBANON‘S SLOW SLIDE FROM HOPE TO DEADLOCK
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     By Anthony ShadidWashington Post Foreign ServiceSunday, December 24, 2006; A01 BEIRUT –– It was Feb. 16, 2005, and Ghena Hariri, dressed in black with a white veil, sat silent in an ambulance driving to the blue–domed Mohammed al–Amin Mosque in Beirut‘s Martyrs‘ Square. Next to her wa >>>


      MYANMAR REBEL LEADER BO MYA DIES AT 7'
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     BANGKOK, Thailand –– A longtime leader of Myanmar‘s largest guerrilla group died early Sunday, a spokesman for the Karen National Union said.

Bo Mya, who most recently held the title of defense minister in the rebel group, died after suffering a long illness, according the group‘s spokes >>>


      MYANMAR REBEL LEADER DIES AFTER LONG ILLNESS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     MAE SOT, Thailand (Reuters) – A veteran leader of the Karen rebel movement in Myanmar, fighting one of the world‘s longest–running insurgencies, has died aged 7', a rebel official said on Sunday.

General Bo Mya, whose Karen National Union (KNU) has waged guerrilla war against the central g >>>


      OLMERT AGREES TO RELEASE FUNDS TO ABBAS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     By Aron HellerAssociated PressSunday, December 24, 2006; A16 JERUSALEM, Dec. 23 –– Israel agreed Saturday to release $100 million in frozen funds to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and to ease West Bank travel restrictions, goodwill gestures that revived hopes for a resumption of peace talks af >>>


      OLMERT SAYS HE WEIGHS PRISONER RELEASES
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     JERUSALEM –– Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hinted Sunday that he might release some Palestinian prisoners in coming days, telling his Cabinet "the time has come to show flexibility and generosity," associates said.

Olmert had previously said he would not consider releasing prisoners u >>>


      OLMERT SUGGESTS EARLY PALESTINIAN PRISONER RELEASE
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert suggested on Sunday he could release some Palestinian prisoners this week even though Gaza militants have yet to free a captured Israeli soldier.

Israel has been under U.S. and European pressure to take steps to bolster Palestinian President Mahmoud >>>


      OLMERT, ABBAS HOLD TWO–HOUR MEETING
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     By Samuel SockolSpecial to The Washington PostSunday, December 24, 2006;
10:40 AM JERUSALEM–– Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met formally for the first time yesterday in an effort to revive the peace process and bolster Abbas in an ongoing internal cr >>>


      POSTHUMOUS PINOCHET NOTE JUSTIFIES COUP
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     PM SANTIAGO, Chile –– In a letter to Chileans written to be published after his death, Gen. Augusto Pinochet said he wished he hadn‘t had to stage the bloody 1'73 coup that put him in power, and called the abuses under his long regime inevitable.

His fate was public shunning and unimagined >>>


      REPORT: ITALY MAKES ARREST IN SPY CASE
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     PM ROME –– An Italian who met with an ex–KGB agent the day the Russian fell fatally ill from radiation poisoning was arrested on Sunday, the man‘s father said.

The accusations against Mario Scaramella _ international arms trafficking and slander _ were not believed to be directly related >>>


      SEVEN KILLED AS DARFUR REBELS, GOVERNMENT CLASH
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Fighting between Darfur rebels and government forces near the northern town of Kutum has killed seven people and insurgents said on Sunday they shot down two army helicopters in the area.

Despite a May peace deal, violence has increased in Sudan‘s remote west after rebels who re >>>


      SOMBER CHRISTMAS IN BETHLEHEM AMID ECONOMIC WOES
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     BETHLEHEM, West Bank (Reuters) – Hundreds of pilgrims gathered in Bethlehem on Sunday for a Christmas mass, although the holiday cheer was dampened by weeks of internal Palestinian violence and regular Israeli travel restrictions.

Church bells rang throughout the town where Christians believe Jesus was bo >>>


      SOUTHEAST ASIA HUNTS WILDLIFE POACHERS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     HUA HIN, Thailand –– Brandishing pistols, a half dozen Thai police officers jump out of a pickup truck and surround the house of an alleged international wildlife trafficker.

"Open the door. We want to search your house," yells one agent. The team storms, arresting the Filipino suspect and >>>


      SPANISH SURGEON RUSHED TO TREAT CASTRO: REPORT
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     MADRID (Reuters) – A renowned Spanish surgeon has been rushed to Cuba to treat ailing leader Fidel Castro, a Spanish newspaper reported on Sunday.

Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido, an intestinal specialist, traveled to the Caribbean island on Thursday aboard an aircraft chartered by the Cuban government, accordin >>>


      SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 7 POLICE IN IRAQ
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     BAGHDAD, Iraq –– A suicide bomber killed at least seven policemen and wounded 30 others at a police station northeast of Baghdad on Sunday, police said.

The explosion happened in Muqdadiyah, 55 miles northeast of the Iraqi capital. After the initial explosion, the station came under attack from mort >>>


      TALIBAN FIGURE KILLED IN AIRSTRIKE, U.S. SAYS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     2006; 11:32 AM A top Taliban leader and close associate of Osama bin Laden has been killed in a U.S. airstrike in southern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border, the U.S. military said in a statement yesterday.

Akhtar Mohammad Osmani was traveling in a deserted area of Helmand province on Tuesday when his vehic >>>


      THOUSANDS ATTEND FUNERAL OF TURKMEN LEADER
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     PM ASHGABAT (Reuters) – Thousands of people massed in Turkmenistan‘s capital Ashgabat on Sunday to pay their last respects to authoritarian leader Saparmurat Niyazov who died after 21 years of iron–fist rule.

The body of the 66–year–old leader, known in the former Soviet republic a >>>


      THOUSANDS BID FAREWELL TO TURKMEN LEADER
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     ASHGABAT (Reuters) – Military jets roared overhead as crowds of Turkmen mourners bid their last farewell to autocratic leader Saparmurat Niyazov who was buried on Sunday in a ceremony reminiscent of the grand funerals of the Soviet era.

Niyazov, who had ruled the strategic Central Asian nation since 1' >>>


      THREE U.S. MILITARY POLICE KILLED IN IRAQ
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Three U.S. military police were killed and one wounded when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in eastern Baghdad on Saturday, the U.S. military said on Sunday.
>>>


      TURKMENS MOURN AUTOCRATIC LEADER
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan –– Turkmens on Sunday paid final respects to Saparmurat Niyazov, the authoritarian president who for two decades dominated life in this isolated Central Asian nation with his all–encompassing cult of personality.

The mourning ceremonies started with a long line of Turkme >>>


      U.N. APPROVES IRAN SANCTIONS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     AM UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 23 –– The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to restrict Iran‘s trade in sensitive nuclear materials and to freeze the assets of 22 Iranian officials and institutions linked to the country‘s most controversial nuclear programs.

The council‘s ac >>>


      U.N. DENOUNCES MYANMAR RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     PM UNITED NATIONS –– The U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution Friday denouncing human rights violations in Myanmar, particularly atrocities in a campaign to suppress an insurgency among the Karen ethnic minority.

The resolution, which came in response to a report from a U.N. special investigat >>>


      U.S. SENATOR URGES INDIA ON NUKE PACT
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     NEW DELHI –– A prominent U.S. senator met with India‘s prime minister Saturday in an effort to allay concerns that a new joint nuclear pact could put New Delhi at odds with Iran.

Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, said he urged Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to move ahead wit >>>


      WORLD IN BRIEF
      Washington Post, 24-12-2006
     Foreign Fighters Urged To Join Battle in Somalia MOGADISHU, Somalia –– Somalia‘s Islamic militias called Saturday on foreign Muslim fighters to join their "holy war" against Ethiopian troops after days of fighting killed hundreds of people and threatened to engulf this volatile region.
>>>


      3 U.S. SOLDIERS DIE IN BAGHDAD BOMBING
      Guardian, 24-12-2006
     Sunday December 24, 2006 4:46 PM AP Photo BAG111 BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – A roadside bomb killed three American soldiers in Baghdad and a suicide bomber killed at least seven Iraqi policemen north of the capital, authorities said Sunday.

The soldiers, from the 8'th Military Police Brigade, were killed Sat >>>


      A COLLEGE BUILDS A TOWN FROM SCRATCH
      Guardian, 24-12-2006
     Sunday December 24, 2006 4:46 PM AP Photo CTJH101, 103–107, NY110 By JUSTIN POPE AP Education Writer STORRS, Conn. (AP) – The University of Connecticut‘s main campus boasts a string of new buildings, thanks to a multibillion–dollar infusion of state cash. The student body is growing. And there ar >>>


      ARCHIVE HELPS DETAIL SCOPE OF NAZI CAMPS
      Guardian, 24-12-2006
     Sunday December 24, 2006 2:31 AM AP Photo NY464 By ARTHUR MAX Associated Press Writer BAD AROLSEN, Germany (AP) – Within weeks of Hitler‘s 1'33 rise to power, the iron gates slammed shut on inmates of the first Nazi concentration camps. It was the start of an unparalleled experiment in persecution and ge >>>


      ASIA FLOODS KILL 20, DISPLACE 170,000
      Guardian, 24-12-2006
     Sunday December 24, 2006 4:31 AM AP Photo XAW108 JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Heavy rains in parts of Malaysia and Indonesia unleashed floods that killed at least 20 people and forced 170,000 others to abandon their homes.

At least 13 people were killed and 14 others were missing in torrential rains that swe >>>


      BANGLADESH‘S POLITICAL RIVALRY
      Guardian, 24-12-2006
     Sunday December 24, 2006 2:31 PM By The Associated Press WHERE: Bangladesh, one of the world‘s poorest countries, its politics long dominated by two women, Khaleda Zia and Hasina Wazed, former prime ministers vying for re–election next month.

THE PROBLEM: Both political careers began with an assassi >>>


      BETHLEHEM CHRISTMAS PILGRIMS SCARCE
      Guardian, 24-12-2006
     Sunday December 24, 2006 6:16 PM AP Photo JRL145 By ARON HELLER Associated Press Writer BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) – Marching bands, children dressed as Santa Claus and clergymen in magenta skullcaps gathered in the center of Bethlehem on Sunday to celebrate Christmas Eve, doing their best to dispel the gloom hover >>>



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