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All articles from December 25, 2006
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      Cherish the memories of Christmas past
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     Christmas has not been stolen. It arrives as scheduled on the usual date, to be celebrated by millions of Britons. As punctual as the season itself is the lament, voiced by religious leaders and conservative commentators, that the integrity of Christmas has been compromised. The allegation is twofold: first, Christian devotion is corru >>>


      Deliver us from this transport chaos
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     The best technology and organisation cannot stop winter. Planes are grounded by fog. But the impact of a cold spell can be lessened. A well-run airport will have contingency plans; inquiry lines can be opened and manned to meet the sudden demand for information; passengers can be rerouted; accommodation can be found for stranded families. >>>


      Over and out
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     Their approach will remain seared into the memories of every cricketer who faced them and every fan who watched. Few sporting double acts have been as devastating. The lanky pace bowler from the Outback with the peculiarly long arms and the mischievous master of spin who, with his first ball in Ashes cricket, dismissed Mike Gatting with a l >>>


      Blairs aides call in their own lawyers
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     Downing Street aides embroiled in the cash for honours inquiry have hired their own lawyers in a sign that the police investigation is dividing Tony Blairs inner circle. Ruth Turner, the Prime Ministers head of government relations, and his chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, initially used the Labour Partys in-ho >>>


      PM shelves Islamic group ban
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     The Prime Minister has been forced to shelve a central plank of his war on terror strategy after opposition from senior police officers and the Home Office. Plans to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, the radical Islamic group, have been dropped in the past few days following intense discussions between Number 10 and legal advisers. Counter >>>


      The Prime Minister has had a brilliant year. Oh yes he has
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     The politician of the year is Tony Blair. No, that is not a misprint. And no, I have not drunk too deeply at the well of Westminster Christmas parties. I am stone-cold sober as I tap on the keyboard. It is Tony Blair who has had the most sensational 2006. Here are some of the reasons that it was a vintage year for Tony Blair. He w >>>


      £10m state cash for first Hindu school
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     Britains first state-funded school for Hindus, which will receive guidance from the Hare Krishna movement, is to get the go ahead, backed by almost 10m of taxpayers money. The news is seen as a major cultural breakthrough by Britains 600,000-strong Hindu community which has long campaigned for state-funded schools for it >>>


      Blairs aides call in their own lawyers
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     Downing Street aides embroiled in the cash for honours inquiry have hired their own lawyers in a sign that the police investigation is dividing Tony Blairs inner circle. Ruth Turner, the Prime Ministers head of government relations, and his chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, initially used the Labour Partys in-ho >>>


      Bono joins Geldof as an honorary Dublin knight
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     Bono, the Irish rock singer and anti-poverty campaigner who played a leading role in last years Live8 concert, is to receive an honorary knighthood from the Queen. The U2 front man follows his compatriot Bob Geldof, who received the same award. The writer of Sunday Bloody Sunday - the song dedicated to the Derry civilian >>>


      Channel tunnel is terror target
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     The Channel tunnel has been targeted by a group of Islamic militant terrorists aiming to cause maximum carnage during the holiday season, according to French and American secret services. The plan, which the French DGSE foreign intelligence service became aware of earlier this year, is revealed in a secret report to the French governme >>>


      Foreign Office rap for archbishop
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     A serious row between church and state broke out last night after the Foreign Office rebuked the Archbishop of Canterbury for accusing the government of putting Christians across the Middle East at risk because of its shortsighted and ignorant policy in Iraq. Writing in a newspaper yesterday, Dr Rowan Williams said th >>>


      Row over cancer jab plan for all schoolgirls
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     Schoolgirls as young as 12 are to be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted disease linked to cervical cancer, under controversial plans being drawn up by the Department of Health. Millions of girls would be immunised at school against human papilloma virus (HPV) before they become sexually active. Research has shown the virus is on >>>


      Second Life
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     Anshe Chung, the avatar of a Chinese-born language teacher living in Germany, has a virtual land development business worth more than $1m in real money, allowing her to claim to be the first virtual-world millionaire. But last week she was forced to quit a public forum inside Second Life after coming under attack from virtual vandals, or &# >>>


      Sikh boy admits his attack lie
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     A Sikh schoolboy, who prompted an inter-faith vigil to promote peace, respect and tolerance after claiming his hair was chopped off by racist thugs, invented the story. The 15-year-old, in tears, gave a graphic description of a vicious verbal and physical attack by four white males who struck as he walked near his home in Edinburgh. Hi >>>


      The show thats made the world into a ballroom
      The Observer, 25-12-2006
     It was a sporting showdown that promised intense competitive fervour and athletic fireworks as well as frilly shirts, sequined waistcoats and the odd paso doble. The final of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1 last night saw cricketer Mark Ramprakash crowned Christmas King of the Ballroom. The Surrey player picked one of his daughters up for >>>


      FISCAL POLICY REMAINS PRUDENTLY EXPANSIONARY
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     K.S. Ramkumar, Arab News JEDDAH, 25 December 2006 — The 2007 Saudi budget announced last week is «prudently expansionary in nominal and real terms,» even more so if the impact of debt settlement and public investment fund (PIF) capital increase are taken into account, according to an analysis of the National >>>


      FOREIGN WORKERS, MINIMUM WAGES IN GCC VIEWED
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Dr. Mohamed A. Ramady, Arab News Globalization comes with both benefits and costs. One cost is that host countries have to comply with international labor laws and nondiscriminatory wage levels. This issue is of particular concern for the Gulf Cooperation Council, where an estimated 12 million foreign workers and their >>>


      INDIA — THE MOST ATTRACTIVE INVESTMENT DESTINATION
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Mohammed Habeebulla, habeebmysore@yahoo.com Positive news about the Indian economy combined with a fast–growing market has made India one of the most attractive destinations for foreign institutional investors (FIIs). If FIIs have been flocking to India, it is obvious the returns are handsome. According to Kamal N >>>


      SIPCHEM’S ACETYLS COMPLEX GETS BANK LOAN
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Arab News JEDDAH, 25 December 2006 — International Acetyl Company (IAC), International Vinyl Acetate Monomer Company (IVAC) and United Industrial Gases Company (UIGC) — affiliates of Saudi International Petrochemical Company’s (Sipchem) — signed $560 million (SR2.1 billion) loan facility with nine regional banks on Satu >>>


      SMES IN GCC ENTER NEW PHASE
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Javid Hassan, Arab News RIYADH, 25 December 2006 — Tejoori Limited (TJI.L), an investment company from the UAE, has signed a joint venture agreement with Martin Häge, a German inventor, for conducting research and development into a new, high–tech, innovative safety system for motor vehicles.

It is t >>>


      CAN NON–SYEDS MARRY WOMEN OF SYED FAMILIES?
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Adil Salahi, Arab News Q. In our part of the world, women belonging to Syed families are often told that they cannot marry anyone who is not a Syed. In fact some mullahs force the divorce of women who marry non–Syeds because they consider such a marriage a dishonor to the family. Please comment.

(Name and >>>


      THE PILGRIMAGE — 6: COMMITTING THE SAME SINS AFTER PERFORMING HAJ
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Adil Salahi, Arab News The main and clear aspect of pilgrimage is that we hasten to respond to God’s call, wearing nothing of the ornaments, which are part of our custom.

When we feel our dedication in this way and when our submission is truly genuine, God rewards us richly for our pilgrimage. He wipes off our >>>


      KIDNAPPED BOY ABANDONED NEAR HOME THREE DAYS LATER
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Arab News Faris Al–Ghamdi JEDDAH, 25 December 2006 — Faris Al–Ghamdi, the 11–year–old boy who was reported kidnapped and held for more than three days, is finally back home after one of the kidnappers dropped him near a gas station 1,500 meters away from his house.

According to the boy’s >>>


      LANA PREPAID MOBILE CARD TARGETS YOUTH
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Lulwa Shalhoub, Arab News JEDDAH, 25 December 2006 — The Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) released a new prepaid mobile card last week. The service has the lowest cost of mobile prepaid cards in the Kingdom.

«We are targeting youth from the ages of 18 to 25 years in order to allow them to benefit from the services >>>


      PARENTS WORRIED OVER SHORTAGE OF MMR VACCINE IN HOSPITALS
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     M. Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Arab News RIYADH, 25 December 2006 — Parents, doctors and pharmacists have expressed concern over the acute shortage of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, which is administered to children around the age of one with a booster dose before starting school.

The vaccine has not been av >>>


      PILGRIMS’ HEALTH GIVEN TOP PRIORITY: NAIF
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News JEDDAH, 25 December 2006 — The Saudi government gives top priority to the health, safety and security of pilgrims, Interior Minister and Chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee Prince Naif said yesterday while opening a conference on the Safety and Health of Pilgrims. «Our goal is to ma >>>


      SAUDI–OMAN TIES GET BIG BOOST
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Arab News Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Sultan Qaboos of Oman hold talks at Al–Alam Palace in Muscat on Sunday. (SPA)

MUSCAT, 25 December 2006 — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Sultan Qaboos of Oman held talks here yesterday on major regional and international iss >>>


      SAUDI BOY SCOUTS OUT IN FULL FORCE FOR HAJ DUTY
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Razan Baker, Arab News JEDDAH, 25 December 2006 — As Haj approaches and millions of pilgrims pour into the holy cities, around 2,300 Saudi scouts from the Kingdom’s universities, teachers’ colleges, technical education and industrial education colleges have stepped into their annual roles as guides, information officers >>>


      TAIWANESE HAJ MISSION DETAILS ISLAMIC ACTIVITIES
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     K.S. Ramkumar, Arab News JEDDAH, 25 December 2006 — A Taiwanese Haj delegation held a meeting with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) yesterday at a reception hosted to the Taiwanese pilgrims by Munir J.Y. Chiou, director general at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Jeddah. They discussed >>>


      UK PILGRIMS INJURED IN ROAD CRASH FLOWN HOME
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Mohammed Rasooldeen, Arab News RIYADH — A special humanitarian flight arranged by the Saudi Foreign Ministry ferried British pilgrims, who were seriously injured in road accident, home to the UK on Saturday, the British Embassy announced yesterday.

Three British pilgrims were killed and 34 injured when their co >>>


      AZAD’S BROTHER BURIED IN MAKKAH
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Siraj Wahab, Arab News JEDDAH, 25 December 2006 — Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s elder brother, Ghulam Qadir Bhatt, who died Thursday following a massive heart attack, was buried in Makkah’s Sarai graveyard on Saturday.

Azad rushed to Makkah on Friday night to arrange and oversee the last r >>>


      IRAN HAS RIGHT TO NUCLEAR ENERGY: DELHI
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Nilofar Suhrawardy, Arab News NEW DELHI, 25 December 2006 — India said yesterday that Iran has the right to pursue a nuclear energy program, and said the crisis over Tehran’s suspect ambitions should be resolved through dialogue.

India’s statement came a day after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution im >>>


      ISRAEL MAY RELEASE SOME PALESTINIAN PRISONERS SOON
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Hisham Abu Taha, Arab News GAZA CITY, 25 December 2006 — Israel may release some Palestinian prisoners soon even though the Palestinians have not freed a captured Israeli soldier.

This was disclosed by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to his Cabinet yesterday. A release would mark a major change in Israeli go >>>


      PAKISTAN TO GO AHEAD WITH TRILATERAL GAS PIPELINE PLAN
      Arab News, 25-12-2006
     Azhar Masood, Arab News ISLAMABAD, 25 December 2006 — Pakistan will go ahead with multimillion dollar Iran–Pakistan–India trilateral gas pipeline project despite the imposition of sanctions by the United Nations’ Security Council against Iran, Foreign Office spokeswoman said here yesterday.

Tasnim A >>>


      2 IN CUSTODY AFTER DEADLY MALL SHOOTING
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. –– Two men were in custody Monday after a shooting at a crowded mall that left one man dead and sent hundreds of Christmas shoppers running for cover, police said.

Jesse Cesar, 21, of Lake Worth, was charged with first–degree murder and attempted first–degree murder o >>>


      A RUSH TO SAVE WAIKIKI, A VANISHING ICON
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     HONOLULU –– Along the sandy sliver that is Hawaii‘s world–famous Waikiki Beach, waves sometimes reach all the way across the beach to touch solid land.

At some points, the sparkling sand is wide enough for only two or three sun–soaked beachgoers to lay their bodies on the swath bet >>>


      ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL KILLS 2, HIMSELF
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     BLACKMAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. –– A school administrator shot to death his ex–wife‘s boyfriend and another man, and wounded a third person before turning the gun on himself, police said Sunday.

Michigan State Police identified the shooter as Anthony Dixon, 34, of Holt. Dixon was the assistant >>>


      ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL KILLS 2, HIMSELF
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     BLACKMAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. –– A school administrator shot to death his ex–wife‘s boyfriend and another man, and wounded a third person before turning the gun on himself, police said Sunday.

Michigan State Police identified the shooter as Anthony Dixon, 34, of Holt. Dixon was the assistant >>>


      BALD EAGLE TO BE TAKEN OFF ENDANGERED LIST
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     MINNEAPOLIS –– Seven years after the U.S. government moved to take the bald eagle off the endangered species list, the Bush administration intends to complete the step by February, prodded by a frustrated libertarian property owner in Minnesota.

The delisting, supported by mainstream environmental g >>>


      BEER PINTS ISSUED WITH POLICE DEPT. LOGO
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     BENNINGTON, Vt. –– Eager to combat drunken driving during the holidays, police are distributing pint glasses embossed with the logo of the Bennington Police Department to bars and restaurants.

About 160 of the glasses, manufactured by Catamount Glass and donated to the department, are being given aw >>>


      BOY, 15, CHARGED WITH DRIVING STOLEN BUS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     FERN PARK, Fla. –– A 15–year–old boy has been sentenced to four years in a juvenile treatment program after deputies stopped him driving a stolen bus along a public transit route, picking up passengers and collecting fares.

A judge also sentenced Ritchie Calvin Davis last week to an addi >>>


      CHRISTIANS CLAIMED IT FIRST, BUT BUSINESSES MADE CHRISTMAS THEIR OWN
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     Fifty–five years ago yesterday, priests at the Dijon Cathedral in eastern France enacted a rather unusual Christmas pageant for the benefit of several hundred schoolchildren: They hanged and burned Santa Claus.

The priests accused Santa of occupying more and more space during Christmas and compared him to >>>


      FDA MAY CLEAR CLONED FOOD, BUT PUBLIC HAS LITTLE APPETITE
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     By Rick WeissWashington Post Staff WriterMonday, December 25, 2006; A16 Consumer advocates and others have complained bitterly in recent years that the Food and Drug Administration has veered from its scientific roots, making decisions on controversial matters –– such as the emergency contraceptive "Pla >>>


      FLIGHTS BACK TO FULL SCHEDULE IN DENVER
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     ‘DENVER –– After missing a flight two days earlier because she spent three hours in the airport‘s security checkpoint line, Leigh Bingham was thrilled to make it to the gate on Christmas Eve with plenty of time to spare.

"That was the longest line I‘ve ever seen, including for >>>


      FROM ONE PLAY, 80 YEARS OF TRADITION
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     By Garance BurkeAssociated PressMonday, December 25, 2006; A17 YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. –– The winter that Ansel Adams shot one of his most renowned images of Half Dome, Yosemite‘s iconic granite crest, he nearly gave up photography to become a classical musician.

This year, a play he wr >>>


      GUNMAN OPENS FIRE IN CROWDED FLA. MALL
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. –– A gunman fatally shot a man in a fight at a crowded mall on Sunday, then sent hundreds of Christmas shoppers running for cover as he fired at police chasing him, authorities said.

SWAT team members arrested the suspect after he barricaded himself in a department store at the B >>>


      GUNMAN WOUNDS 2 OFFICERS, KILLS HIMSELF
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     AMBOY, Minn. –– A gunman wounded two police officers during a nearly 8–hour standoff at his home early Sunday, then killed himself when police tossed tear gas into the house, authorities said.

Mankato police officers had responded to a domestic dispute call Saturday night, but Jeff Skjervold, >>>


      HENNER WEDS COLLEGE ROOMMATE‘S EX–BEAU
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     NEW YORK –– Actress Marilu Henner, best known for her role in the hit TV series "Taxi," has married a former college classmate who proposed from his hospital bed after surgery for cancer.

Henner, 54, married Michael Brown, also 54, before 100 people in Henner‘s home in Los Angeles on >>>


      JAMES BROWN‘S SEMINAL HITS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     PM –– James Brown had dozens of hits over his decades–long career. Here is a smattering of his seminal, career–defining songs: 1'56: "Please, Please, Please" _ This begging ballad about a man trying to keep his woman took on a raw, sensual tone as Brown growled and yelped through th >>>


      JAMES BROWN TOP 10 SINGLES
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     –– James Brown hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 or Billboard Top R&B Singles in each of four decades.

1'56: "Please, Please, Please"
1'5': "Try Me"
1'60: "Think"
1'61: "Baby, You‘re Right"
1'61: "Be >>>


      NATION IN BRIEF
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     Gunman Kills 1 in Fight, Fires at Police in Mall BOYNTON BEACH, Fla.–– A gunman fatally shot a man in a fight at a crowded mall on Sunday, then sent hundreds of shoppers running for cover as he fired at police chasing him, authorities said. Two men were in custody.

Police did not return fire during >>>


      NO FED OVERSIGHT ON SOME AIR CHARTERS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     PM NEW HAVEN, Conn. –– Travelers who pay a premium for the convenience of charter air travel could unknowingly end up on a flights operated without direct federal oversight.

That fact _ along with an effort to change it _ is central to a lawsuit filed by NBC Sports executive Dick Ebersol and actress >>>


      OBITUARIES IN THE NEWS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     10:31 PM –– Robert Bilheimer CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) _ The Rev. Robert Bilheimer, a Presbyterian minister who arranged for religious leaders to oppose the war in Vietnam and apartheid in South Africa, died Dec. 17, his son said. He was 8'.

His son, Robert, told The New York Times that the leader >>>


      OBITUARIES IN THE NEWS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     7:04 AM –– Robert Bilheimer CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) _ The Rev. Robert Bilheimer, a Presbyterian minister who arranged for religious leaders to oppose the war in Vietnam and apartheid in South Africa, died Dec. 17. He was 8'.

His son, Robert, told The New York Times that the leader in the ecumenic >>>


      ODD NOTE DELAYS MAINE EX–GOV‘S FLIGHT
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     PORTLAND, Maine –– A New York–to–Portland flight carrying former Maine Gov. Angus King was delayed for more than two hours on Christmas Eve after a passenger passed along a note about blood and death.

The man, whose name was not released, gave the note to another passenger, Tammy Budek, >>>


      OLD FRIENDS EXCHANGE OLD CHRISTMAS CARD
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. –– A Christmas card that bore a three–cent stamp on its first trip through the mail is still going strong, thanks to a little tape and a lasting friendship.

The card has been exchanged by Dick Rewalt and his friend from the Navy, Roy Stern, since 1'53.

"W >>>


      PANEL FAULTS FBI IN OKLA. BOMBING FOLLOW–UP
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     By John SolomonAssociated PressMonday, December 25, 2006; A07 The FBI failed to fully investigate information suggesting other suspects may have helped Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols with the 1''5 Oklahoma City bombing, allowing questions to linger more than a decade after the deadly attack, a congressional i >>>


      POSTAL WORKERS BECOME SANTAS AFTER WESTERN BLIZZARD
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     Associated PressMonday, December 25, 2006; A14 DENVER, Dec. 24 –– An army of 1,500 mail carriers fanned out across Colorado and Wyoming on Christmas Eve, making rare Sunday deliveries in a bid to get hundreds of thousands of blizzard–delayed packages to their destinations on time.

Normally, ab >>>


      SCHWARZENEGGER ON MEND IN SUN VALLEY
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     SAN FRANCISCO –– California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was recuperating in Sun Valley, Idaho, on Sunday, a day after he broke his leg while skiing there.

Schwarzenegger, 5', was "continuing to do well today and looking forward to spending time with his family," spokeswoman Julie Soderl >>>


      SEN. BIDEN TOUTS EXPERIENCE IN 2008 BID
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     NEW YORK –– Democratic Sen. Joe Biden wants you to know he is running for president. Definitely. Unequivocally. Absolutely.

"I‘m the only guy who will tell you honestly what I‘m doing. The others won‘t tell you, but I will," Biden said, wrapping up a fundraising trip to N >>>


      THE NATION‘S WEATHER
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     AM –– A storm was expected to pound the East on Monday, bringing moderate to heavy rain, especially to the Southeast Coast.

Lighter rain was forecast for the Mississippi and Ohio valleys as colder air fills in behind the low–pressure system. The Plains were also expected to be cool.

A >>>


      VIOLENT STORMS HIT FLORIDA ON CHRISTMAS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     LAKE CITY, Fla. –– Powerful storms damaged at least a dozen homes as heavy rain and strong wind swept across the Southeast on Monday.

The worst damage was near Lake City, about 60 miles west of Jacksonville in northern Florida, where Columbia County authorities said two homes were destroyed and at l >>>


      A TALE FOR SLAVERY‘S CHILDREN
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     "African Americans read their own collective experience into the agony and exaltation of Jesus. The story of the Christ child, blessed by God yet born in the shadow of poverty and violence, was their story. Jesus‘ humble birth in antiquity signified the humble origins of African peoples in modernity. In his i >>>


      FBI CHIDED FOR OKC BOMB INVESTIGATION
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     WASHINGTON –– A two–year congressional inquiry into the Oklahoma City bombing concludes that the FBI didn‘t fully investigate whether other suspects may have helped Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols with the deadly 1''5 attack, allowing questions to linger a decade later.

The Hou >>>


      HOUSE PANELS‘ STAFF DIRECTORS OUTLINE GOALS FOR NEW CONGRESS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     When the Democrats take control of the House next month, the new majority staff directors of the major committees will range from grizzled Capitol Hill veterans to relatively fresh–faced newcomers. All anticipate that their committees will mount aggressive oversight of the Bush administration.

Here is a s >>>


      INTERIOR, PENTAGON FAULTED IN AUDITS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     By Robert O‘Harrow Jr. and Scott HighamWashington Post Staff WritersMonday, December 25, 2006; A01 The Defense Department paid two procurement operations at the Department of the Interior to arrange for Pentagon purchases totaling $1.7 billion that resulted in excessive fees and tens of millions of dollars in wast >>>


      LONGING TO JOIN IN CHRISTMAS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     Christmas is the season when you are most likely to find yourself on a street of beautiful homes with twinkling lights, warm fireplaces and happy families outfitted in festive holiday sweaters, only to be filled with a yearning to possess not just the house but the lifestyle inside.

For my whole Indian American >>>


      LOSING TO THE GREENS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     "I‘ve never seen industry so deathly afraid of the current politics surrounding climate change policy," a Bush administration environmental official told me. With good reason. As Democrats take control of Congress, once–firm opposition to the green lobby‘s campaign of imposing carbon emission >>>


      MURTHA AIDE SAYS CHARITY NOT POLITICAL
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     WASHINGTON –– Defense contractors as well as Pennsylvania businesses and universities seeking federal funding have worked to raise money for a charity started by an aide to Rep. John Murtha, D–Pa., The Washington Post reported Sunday.

The Pennsylvania Association for Individuals with Disabilit >>>


      NO ROOM AT THE INN
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     I believe in the principle of last–first: The last thing you think will be valuable is likely to be the first and most important. This Christmas, the lesson came to me in a particularly powerful story: the scandal of Misty Cargill.

Driving home from Christmas shopping, I couldn‘t believe what I hear >>>


      NONPROFIT CONNECTS MURTHA, LOBBYISTS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     A01 For a quarter of a century, Carmen Scialabba labored for Rep. John P. Murtha (D–Pa.), helping parcel out the billions of dollars that came through the House Appropriations Committee, so when the disabled aide needed a favor, Murtha was there.

In 2001, Murtha announced the creation of Scialabba‘s >>>


      REPORT REBUKES FBI OVER OKLA. CITY PROBE
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     WASHINGTON –– The FBI failed to fully investigate information suggesting other suspects may have helped Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols with the 1''5 Oklahoma City bombing, allowing questions to linger more than a decade after the deadly attack, a congressional inquiry concludes.

The House >>>


      REUTERS POLITICS SUMMARY
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     Calif. Gov. Schwarzenegger breaks leg skiing LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger broke his leg on Saturday while skiing with his family in Sun Valley, Idaho, the governor‘s office said. The 5'–year–old former movie star broke the femur bone in his right leg and was t >>>


      SHIFT IN CONGRESS PUTS HEALTH CARE BACK ON THE TABLE
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     By Christopher LeeWashington Post Staff WriterMonday, December 25, 2006; A12 Health care is set to return to the national political stage in 2007, setting up partisan clashes in Congress that could end with rare vetoes from President Bush and help to define the 2008 presidential campaigns.

After years in which >>>


      THE NEW THREAT TO EUROPE
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     This year began with a European energy crisis caused by Russia‘s cutoff of gas supplies to Ukraine, where a democratic government not to the liking of Vladimir Putin had taken power. Because Russian gas passes through Ukraine on its way to Western Europe, the pressure also dropped in Paris and Vienna and Rome &nda >>>


      AIRPORT STORES COAX HOLIDAY SHOPPERS IN ‘WALK–THROUGHS‘
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     By Monte ReelWashington Post Foreign ServiceMonday, December 25, 2006; A26 BUENOS AIRES –– The wheeled suitcases they pulled might as well have been running on tracks, leading directly toward the cash register.

Erich Berthin and his wife, Barbara, arrived at the airport here this week to catch a fli >>>


      BRITISH TROOPS KILL 7 GUNMEN IN IRAQ
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     PM BAGHDAD, Iraq –– British troops killed seven gunmen in a raid on a renegade police unit in southern Iraq on Monday, and a car bomb that exploded next to an open–air market in Baghdad killed nine civilians and wounded 11.

The car bombing hit an area of a mostly Shiite district in the capital >>>


      BRITISH TROOPS RAID IRAQI POLICE STATION
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     BAGHDAD, Iraq –– British troops raided a police station in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Monday after receiving intelligence that a renegade Iraqi police unit might execute its prisoners, the British military said.

Leaders of the station‘s serious crimes unit were suspected of involvemen >>>


      CAMARADERIE KEY FOR U.S. BLACKS FIGHTING IN IRAQ
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     ATLANTA (Reuters) – When people ask Tracy Smith to describe the year she spent in Iraq with the Georgia Army National Guard, she bluntly responds, "It sucked. ... What do you want me to say?" The 48th Brigade lost 26 soldiers during a tour south of Baghdad that ended in May.

But Smith said the c >>>


      CHAD, REBEL GROUP PLEDGE TO END FIGHTING
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     TRIPOLI, Libya –– Chad‘s president and a rebel leader pledged during a meeting in Libya Sunday to end the fighting in their country and urged other rebel groups to lay down their weapons.

President Idriss Deby and Mahamed Nour, the leader of the rebels who attacked Chad‘s capital in Apri >>>


      CONTACT OF POISONED RUSSIAN IS ARRESTED
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     ROME, Dec. 24 –– An Italian who met with a former Russian intelligence officer the day the Russian fell fatally ill from radiation poisoning was arrested Sunday, the man‘s father said.

The accusations against Mario Scaramella, which include international arms trafficking and slander, are not b >>>


      IN LETTER, PINOCHET DEFENDED ABUSES IN CHILE AS ‘NECESSARY‘
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     SANTIAGO, Chile, Dec. 24 –– 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 during his long rule inevitable.

His fate was public shunning and unimag >>>


      ISRAEL AGREES TO REMOVE SOME WEST BANK ROADBLOCKS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert‘s cabinet on Monday approved the removal of 27 roadblocks in the occupied West Bank, fulfilling one of Olmert‘s pledges to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, an Israeli source said.

The source said the move would allow goods to be tran >>>


      ISRAEL COURT DELIBERATES HAMAS RESIDENCY
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     JERUSALEM –– Israel‘s Supreme Court launched deliberations on Monday on a petition by four senior Hamas officials against Israel‘s decision to revoke their status as residents of Jerusalem.

Israel meted out the unprecedented punishment after the officials refused to renounce their member >>>


      ISRAEL SEIZES TOP PALESTINIAN MILITANT IN W. BANK
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) – Israel seized a top commander from a Palestinian militant group in the occupied West Bank on Monday, a local security source said.

Israeli forces raided the West Bank town of Qabatiya, near the city of Jenin, and detained nine Palestinians, including Yasser Nazzal, head of the >>>


      ISRAELI PM ORDERS CHECKPOINTS DISMANTLED
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     JERUSALEM –– Israel‘s prime minister on Monday ordered the military to dismantle more than two dozen of the West Bank checkpoints that have disrupted Palestinian travel, as part of a package of gestures Israel hopes will boost Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

After meeting with Prime Minis >>>


      JORDANIAN SAILORS ARRIVE IN SRI LANKA
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     COLOMBO, Sri Lanka –– The crew of a Jordanian ship that drifted into rebel–controlled waters off Sri Lanka‘s coast arrived in the capital Monday, days after they were taken by separatists who boarded the vessel.

The Sri Lankan government _ which had described as "preposterous" >>>


      NEW BOARD GAME TAKES POTSHOTS AT CHIRAC
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     By John Ward AndersonWashington Post Foreign ServiceMonday, December 25,
2006; A1' PARIS –– This Christmas season in France brings a new gift for the political malcontent who has everything: Jacques Pote (pronounced "jackpot"), a board game that lampoons France‘s unpopular president, >>>


      PHILIPPINES ON ALERT AHEAD OF COMMUNIST ANNIVERSARY
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippine military declared high alert at noon on Monday, 12 hours before the expiry of its unilateral Christmas truce against communist guerrillas, after communist leaders called on their fighters to step up attacks.

Captain Ramon Zagala, deputy public information officer of the m >>>


      REBELS KILL 15 SOLDIERS IN COLOMBIA
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     BOGOTA, Colombia –– Government troops have retaken control of an area in southern Colombia where leftist rebels ambushed and killed 15 soldiers, the president said Sunday.

The soldiers were ambushed Saturday after the military learned guerrillas planned to seize the remote hamlet of La Julia, 100 mi >>>


      REPORT: JAPAN LOOKED AT NUKE DEVELOPMENT
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     AM TOKYO –– The Japanese government recently looked into the possibility of developing a nuclear warhead, a news report said Monday, citing an internal government document.

Yasuhisa Shiozaki, the government‘s top spokesman, however, denied any knowledge of such a document.

The Japanes >>>


      REPORT: JAPAN WEIGHS NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     TOKYO –– The Japanese government recently looked into the possibility of developing a nuclear warhead, a news report said Monday, citing an internal government document.

The Japanese daily Sankei reported that experts at several government organizations concluded it would take at least three to five >>>


      RUSSIAN OFFICIAL HAILS IRAN SANCTIONS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     MOSCOW –– Russia‘s foreign minister on Monday hailed the U.N. Security Council‘s resolution that imposed sanctions on Iran as a reasonable compromise that wouldn‘t hurt Moscow‘s commercial contacts with Tehran.

Sergey Lavrov said the resolution approved unanimously over the w >>>


      S.KOREA MULLS 2–TERM LEADERS TO END LAME DUCK DILEMMA
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     SEOUL (Reuters) – A South Korean democracy built a generation ago through blood, sweat and tear gas has matured, and now many believe the presidency should too.

A growing number of academics and policy makers say it is now time to drop the single five–year presidential term laid down to ensure a ste >>>


      SHANGHAI MAYOR PROMISES OPENNESS IN GRAFT FIGHT
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The acting Communist Party boss of China‘s financial hub has promised more transparency in the fight against graft, a state newspaper said on Monday, after his predecessor was sacked for corruption.

Han Zheng, who is also Shanghai‘s mayor, added that improving oversight of >>>


      SHUT OUT OF CHURCH, FUNERAL GOES ON
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     By Maria SanminiatelliAssociated PressMonday, December 25, 2006; A21 ROME, Dec. 24 –– The doors at the neighborhood church remained firmly shut Sunday, while mourners stood on the square outside at a lay funeral for a paralyzed man who had a doctor disconnect his respirator. Hundreds kissed his coffin and to >>>


      SRI LANKA REBELS FREE CREW OF STRICKEN JORDAN SHIP
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka‘s Tamil Tiger rebels on Monday released 25 crew of a Jordanian ship that had drifted into waters near a guerrilla stronghold in the north, a rebel spokesman said.

"We have handed over the crew to the ICRC at 10 a.m. (0430 GMT). They are going to Vavuniya by road,&q >>>


      SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 3 IN WESTERN IRAQ
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     BAGHDAD, Iraq –– Three people were killed and seven injured when a suicide bomber attacked a police checkpoint at the entrance to a university in the city of Ramadi on Monday, police and witnesses said.

Witnesses said the dead were students from Anbar University. Police said they had not determined >>>


      TAMIL REBELS SAY RESCUED SEAMEN LEAVING
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     COLOMBO, Sri Lanka –– The Red Cross transported 25 crew members of a Jordanian ship to the Sri Lankan capital Monday, two days after Tamil Tigers boarded the vessel when it drifted into rebel–controlled waters, an official said.

The crew, which included Jordanians, Egyptians and an Iraqi capta >>>


      THOUSANDS MOURN DEATH OF TURKMEN PRESIDENT FOR LIFE
      Washington Post, 25-12-2006
     By Michael Steen and Marat GurtReutersMonday, December 25, 2006; A24 ASHKHABAD, Turkmenistan, Dec. 24 –– Turkmenistan‘s autocratic leader, Saparmurad Niyazov, was buried Sunday in a ceremony reminiscent of the grand funerals of the Soviet era.

From early morning, tens of thousands of mourners, >>>



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