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      BAHRAIN DRAFTING NEW MORTGAGE REGULATIONS
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Mahmood Rafique, Arab News MANAMA, 25 December 2007 — In the backdrop of a subprime mortgage crisis in the US which squeezed credit markets worldwide, causing losses in billions of dollars, Bahrain is likely to become the first country in the region to introduce a new framework minimizing the risk factor for lending ins >>>


      GHC AWARDS $216M DOWNTOWN AL–AREEN PROJECT TO AMAC
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Arab News MANAMA, 25 December 2007 — Gulf Holding Company (GHC) has awarded the $216 million Downtown Al–Areen construction contract to Ahmed Mansoor Al–A’ali Company (AMAC) on a design–build basis.

Under the terms of the contract, AMAC will be responsible for construction of the main boulevar >>>


      GULF BOURSES RESUME TRADING WITH A BANG
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Querubin J. Mi?as, Arab News JEDDAH, 25 December 2007 — Stock markets in the Gulf impressively re–opened trading activity yesterday after the Eid holidays as investors’ expectations of positive full–year company profit results propelled the markets further into positive territory.

Saudi Arabia’s ben >>>


      SAUDI INFLATION TOPS 5% EVEN AS UAE SEES PLUNGE
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Reuters DUBAI, 25 December 2007 — Inflation in three Saudi Arabian cities, including the capital Riyadh, rose to more than 5 percent in the third quarter, accelerating at a faster pace than the country average, the central bank said yesterday.

Price rises in Riyadh grew 5.' percent in the three months ended >>>


      A PILGRIM’S THOUGHTS — 2: CHANGING SCENES AND FACILITIES
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Adil Salahi, Arab News Having had a little rest in our hotel after arriving in Makkah, we proceed to do the Umrah, as we are following the tamattu’ method of pilgrimage, which is the one preferred and recommended by the Prophet (peace be upon him). It involves doing the Umrah on arrival in Makkah, releasing yourself fro >>>


      A PILGRIM’S THOUGHTS — 3: PERFORMING ALL RITUALS OF HAJ WITH EASE AND DEDICATION
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Adil Salahi, Arab News Those days that followed our arrival in Makkah were extremely pleasant.

Like the time of my first pilgrimage 40 years ago, we feel in a totally different world. It is a pleasant world where all people have a definite preoccupation, aiming to make the best use of their time. We go to the H >>>


      A PILGRIM’S THOUGHTS: WHERE TO START THE IHRAAM?
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Adil Salahi, Arab News Long it has been since I offered the pilgrimage. I come from a far away country and things back home have not been well generally. My only previous pilgrimage was a great experience that gave me much spiritual fulfilment on which I could draw even many years later. Since then I have always yearned >>>


      PILGRIMAGE WHEN ONE IS TOO WEAK
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Adil Salahi, Arab News Q. A woman is eager to do the pilgrimage but she is too weak to undertake the journey. She has pain in her legs and feet, and she is overweight.

She finds walking very tiring. Can she send someone to do the pilgrimage on her behalf, considering that she has not yet performed her duty pilg >>>


      THE PROPHET AS A MAN: SPEAKING OF HIS BROTHERS
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Adil Salahi, Arab News Abu Hurayrah reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) went one day to the graveyard. «As he arrived there, he said: ‘Peace be to you, in this dwelling place of believers. We will join you as God wills. I wish I could see my brothers.’ People who were with him said: ‘Messenger of God! Are >>>


      THE PROPHET AS A MAN: THE SPECIAL POSITION OF EARLY MUSLIM GENERATIONS
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Adil Salahi, Arab News The companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were exemplary in their commitment to Islam. They realized the great change in their lives as a result of embracing Islam and living according to its teachings. When they compared their life under Islam with how they lived before it, they felt that >>>


      TREACHERY OF GREAT MAGNITUDE
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Commentary by Sayyid Qutb In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Most Merciful He brought down from their strongholds those of the people of earlier revelations who aided them, casting terror in their hearts: some you slew, and some you took captive.

And He passed on to you their land, their houses and thei >>>


      UNNECESSARY HOSTILITY
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Commentary by Sayyid Qutb In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Most Merciful God turned back the unbelievers in all their rage and fury; they gained no advantage. He spared the believers the need to fight. God is Most Powerful, Almighty. (The Confederates Al–Ahzab: 33: 25) When Islam arrived in Madinah, the >>>


      DOCTOR’S SLOPPINESS CAUSES UNTOLD MISERY TO MOTHER
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Arjuwan Lakkdawala, Arab News JEDDAH, 25 December 2007 — Umm Mohammed did what any good mom would do when her son developed a possible health problem in the form of a swollen nose. She took her boy to a charity clinic in Jeddah’s East Nuzlah district.

What could have been an odd visit to the doctor turned into >>>


      MEAT AFTER HAJ? BETTER TRUST YOUR BUTCHER!
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Badea Abu Al–Naja, Arab News Mutton is offered for sale in unhygienic conditions in a street in Makkah.

(AN photo by Badea Abu Al–Naja) MAKKAH, 25 December 2007 — Makkans have had a long tradition of refraining from eating meat in restaurants for a couple of weeks after Haj. Why? Because it’s common >>>


      RIYADH RESIDENTS COMPLAIN OF RISE IN HOLIDAY BURGLARIES
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Javid Hassan, Arab News RIYADH, 25 December 2007 — Expatriates continued to be the main target of burglars in Riyadh during the Eid Al–Adha holidays. At least four cars were stolen from in the Murabba district alone.

One vehicle was recovered from a road behind the Ministry of Defense and Aviation in Wiza >>>


      ‘US IGNORED WARNINGS ON SECURITY FIRMS IN IRAQ’
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, 25 December 2007 — The US government ignored numerous warnings over the past two years that private security firms in Iraq were operating with little supervision and instead expanded their role, a media report said yesterday.

Warnings about the risks posed by tens of thousands o >>>


      $5BN AID TO PAKISTAN SQUANDERED, NYT REPORTS
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, 25 December 2007 — More than five billion dollars in US aid to Pakistan has often never reached the military units it was intended for to fight Al–Qaeda and the Taleban, and was instead diverted to other programs, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Much of the money me >>>


      FATHER TO SELL HOUSE TO GET JUSTICE FOR SON
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Shahid Raza Burney, Arab News MUMBAI, 25 December 2007 — The death of 17–year–old Imran Shaikh in a police encounter at Govandi recently by the Crime Branch has triggered anger in the Muslim community in Mumbai.

The community alleges that the police killed the innocent youth in a «fake encount >>>


      GROUP CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR ATTACK
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Azhar Masood & Agencies ISLAMABAD, 25 December 2007 — An umbrella group of militants said yesterday that it was responsible for a suicide attack on a military convoy that killed five civilians and four soldiers in northwestern Pakistan.

The suicide bombing on Sunday evening in the Swat region also wounded 1 >>>


      JEWISH SETTLEMENT ROW STALLS TALKS
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Agencies JERUSALEM/CAIRO, 25 December 2007 — Israeli–Palestinian peace talks bogged down in disagreement last night for a second time after the Palestinians ruled out addressing core issues until Israel agreed to stop settlement building near Jerusalem.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called the US&nda >>>


      JORDAN URGED TO ADOPT PRISON REFORMS
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Abdul Jalil Mustafa, Arab News AMMAN, 25 December 2007 — Jordan’s National Center for Human Rights (NCHR) yesterday called on the government to take effective measures to improve conditions in the country’s prisons.

In its fifth report on the situation of human rights in the kingdom, the NCHR expressed dissatis >>>


      MUSLIMS NOT WORRIED ABOUT MODI’S WIN
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Nilofar Suhrawardy, Arab News NEW DELHI, 25 December 2007 — Elected unanimously yesterday as leader of Gujarat BJP legislature party, 57–year–old Narendra Modi will be sworn in today as the chief minister by Gujarat state Gov. Naval Kishore Sharma in Gandhinagar. The ceremony, earlier scheduled for Dec. 27, >>>


      TOP COURT STRIKES DOWN LHC ORDER
      Arab News, 25-12-2007
     Azhar Masood, Arab News ISLAMABAD, 25 December 2007 — The Supreme Court of Pakistan yesterday struck down an order of the Lahore High Court (LHC) that prevented the establishment of a high court in Islamabad.

After the imposition of the state of emergency President Pervez Musharraf had ordered the establishment >>>


      ALASKANS WEIGH THE COST OF GOLD
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     NONDALTON, Alaska –– The gold mine proposed for this stunning open country might be the largest in North America. It would involve building the biggest dam in the world at the headwaters of the world‘s largest sockeye salmon fishery, which it would risk obliterating.

Epic even by Alaskan stand >>>


      BIG DIG DATES
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     1:20 PM –– Some important dates in the history of Boston‘s Big Dig highway project:
1'82 _ Original estimate for the project pegged at $2.6 billion.

1'87 _ Congress approves initial federal funding.
1''1 _ Construction begins on Ted Williams Tunnel beneath Boston Harbor >>>


      BIG DIG FEATS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     1:20 PM –– Some engineering feats associated with Boston‘s Big Dig project: _ Tunnel Jacking.

Part of the project called for a tunnel extension under an active Amtrak railroad. Project managers realized the soil was so unstable that the rail lines could collapse. Engineers built a gigantic con >>>


      BIG DIG FIGURES
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     1:1' PM –– Figures associated with Boston‘s Big Dig highway project: Original cost estimate: $2.6 billion Current cost estimate: $14.7'8 billion Length of project: 7.5 miles, about half in tunnels Amount of dirt removed: 16 million cubic yards Number of workers at peak construction: 5,000 Numbe >>>


      BIG DIG VICTIM‘S FAMILY SETTLES FOR $6M
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     BOSTON –– The family of a woman killed when the ceiling of a Big Dig tunnel collapsed on her car last year has agreed to a $6 million settlement with the company that supplied the epoxy blamed for the accident, an attorney said Monday.

Milena Del Valle, 3', was killed July 10, 2006, as she and h >>>


      BOSTON‘S BIG DIG IS FINALLY COMPLETED
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     BOSTON –– When the clock runs out on 2007, Boston will quietly mark the end of one of the most tumultuous eras in the city‘s history: The Big Dig, the nation‘s most complex and costliest highway project, will officially come to an end.

Don‘t expect any champagne toasts. After a his >>>


      BUSH CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS AT CAMP DAVID
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     WASHINGTON –– President Bush brought his extended family together for a Christmas celebration at the chief executive‘s retreat at Camp David, Md., with gift exchanges and a traditional midday feast on the holiday agenda.

Gathered at the wooded compound in the Catoctin Mountains, located about >>>


      CALIF. COURT: MALLS CAN‘T BAR PROTESTERS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     SAN FRANCISCO –– The California Supreme Court has ruled that shopping malls can‘t stop protesters from urging the boycott of stores while on mall property.

In a 4–3 decision Monday, the justices ruled that the Fashion Valley mall in San Diego violated California‘s free speech laws >>>


      CARDS FROM HEAVEN HAVE DEAD MAN TALKING
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     ASHLAND, Ore. –– Even in death, Chet Fitch is a card. Fitch, known for his sense of humor, died in October at age 88 but gave his friends and family a start recently: Christmas cards, 34 of them, began arriving _ written in his hand with a return address of "Heaven." The greeting read: "I aske >>>


      CLINTON PLEDGES SUPPORT TO VETERANS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa –– Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday renewed her pledge to ensure the United States fulfills its obligations to veterans.

At the Iowa Veterans Home in central Iowa, Clinton said she was glad to be there during the holidays _ a time when "we all think about what we&lsq >>>


      DYING IOWA VOTER CONFRONTS CANDIDATES
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     DES MOINES, Iowa –– A little over a year ago, Kathy Stangl received a devastating prognosis: Doctors told her she had only a few months to live.

Then April came around and Stangl, still very much alive, did what comes naturally to Iowans _ she started meeting presidential candidates.

" >>>


      FAMILY OF WOMAN KILLED IN BIG DIG COLLAPSE TO GET $6 MILLION SETTLEMENT
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     BOSTON –– The family of a woman killed when the ceiling of a Big Dig tunnel collapsed on her car last year has agreed to a $6 million settlement with the company that supplied the epoxy blamed for the accident, a lawyer said Monday.

Milena Del Valle, 3', was killed July 10, 2006, as she and her >>>


      GIULIANI SAYS HE‘S ‘CANCER FREE‘
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     AM NEW YORK –– Rudy Giuliani handed out presents and read a Christmas story to Harlem youngsters Monday, then talked about what, for him, might be the best gift of all.

"I‘m perfectly healthy. I don‘t have cancer," the Republican presidential contender told reporters after read >>>


      IMMIGRANT CRACKDOWN FALLS SHORT
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     By Spencer S. HsuWashington Post Staff WriterTuesday, December 25, 2007; A03 In its announced clampdown on companies that hire illegal workers, the federal government has arrested nearly four times as many people in the past year as it did two years ago, but only a tiny fraction of those arrests involved criminal charge >>>


      IN MINNEAPOLIS, PARENTS START A CHARTER SCHOOL FOR AUTISTIC CHILDREN
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     MINNEAPOLIS –– You can see the ache in Tamara Phillips‘s eyes. As her autistic daughter, now 14, has grown, so has the loneliness –– her daughter‘s loneliness in school, her parents‘ loneliness because having an autistic child can seem a solitary climb up a very long hill. " >>>


      LAWYER: I HAD ‘NO REASON‘ TO KILL WIFE
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. –– A disbarred lawyer who lives three doors from Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton says he‘s being "abused for publicity‘s sake" after being charged with murdering his wife.

In a jailhouse interview with The Journal News, Carlos Perez–Olivo insisted he&ls >>>


      MAN CRASHES INTO ARMY SECRETARY‘S HOME
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     FORT WORTH, Texas –– A man crashed his sport utility vehicle into the home of Army Secretary Pete Geren over the weekend and then shot and killed himself a short time later, Fort Worth police said.

It wasn‘t immediately clear if the man, identified as 37–year–old Edward McKee, real >>>


      MANY QUESTIONS IN STACY PETERSON CASE
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     BOLINGBROOK, Ill. –– A mysterious blue barrel. Divers searching the murky, frigid waters of an industrial canal. A woman‘s body exhumed for clues three years after her death.

Nearly two months after Stacy Peterson was last seen, the investigation into her disappearance and suspicions surroundi >>>


      MASS HELD AT GROUND ZERO ONE LAST TIME
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     NEW YORK –– The first midnight Mass at ground zero was celebrated as workers were still clearing debris from the World Trade Center and recovering bodies after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The last was held Monday night, giving police, firefighters, recovery workers and victims‘ families a >>>


      NATION IN BRIEF
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     Bush Phones Troops To Offer Holiday Thanks President Bush spoke by telephone on Christmas Eve to 10 U.S. service members stationed in Iraq and elsewhere around the world to thank them for serving their country and spending the holiday season away from their families.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the >>>


      NO JOKE: CLOWNS SPREAD THE GOSPEL
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     TAMPA, Fla. –– The clown walked into church like he owned the place. KoKoMo stood proudly in the sanctuary of Carrollwood Baptist, his huge white shoes planted firmly, his head–to–toe sequins glimmering, his nose and wig as red as a Christmas bow.

It was no joke. KoKoMo was decked out fo >>>


      QUESTIONS LINGER AT A UTAH COAL MINE
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     HUNTINGTON, Utah –– Nearly five months after a thunderous cave–in at Utah‘s Crandall Canyon mine, the cause of the original disaster is still under investigation and the fate of the mine is officially unresolved.

Six miners were caught in the Aug. 6 cave–in. Ten days later, three m >>>


      REPUBLICAN GIULIANI SAYS HE DOES NOT HAVE CANCER
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who had prostate cancer in 2000 and was hospitalized last week for a severe headache, said on Monday he does not have cancer.

"I‘m perfectly healthy. I don‘t have cancer," the former New York mayor told U.S. >>>


      ROADWAYS IMPROVE AFTER DEADLY STORM
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     AM MILWAUKEE –– Sunny conditions on Monday helped road crews deal with the remnants of a blustery snowstorm that blacked out thousands of homes and businesses and was blamed for at least 22 traffic deaths in the upper Midwest.

Sgt. Michael Melgaard of the Wisconsin State Patrol in Eau Claire said dr >>>


      ROMNEY LASHES OUT AT MCCAIN IN N.H.
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     PETERBOROUGH, N.H. –– With John McCain on vacation and Rudy Giuliani occupied elsewhere in the state, Mitt Romney sought this weekend to close the deal with New Hampshire Republicans who remain undecided about his presidential candidacy.

Romney fired away at McCain, repeatedly accusing the Arizona s >>>


      SANTA IN G–STRING ARRESTED ON DUI CHARGE
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     LOS ANGELES –– Some gifts from Kris Kringle are better kept wrapped. A man in a Santa hat was arrested Sunday night for investigation of drunken driving after he was spotted outside Grauman‘s Chinese Theater in Hollywood wearing a wig, a red lace camisole and a purple G–string, police said.
< >>>


      STUDENT BREAK MAKES CHRISTMAS TOUGH FOR U.S. CAMPAIGNS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) – A clash between Christmas vacations and the U.S. election calendar has left presidential campaigns in Iowa struggling with a shortage of student volunteers to call voters, distribute pamphlets and drive people to the polls.

The first–in–the–nation nominating >>>


      TOASTING THE SEASON ON THE ELLIPSE
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     By David MontgomeryWashington Post Staff WriterTuesday, December 25, 2007; A01 The place to be on a chill December evening is snug among the spellbound crowd basking in the heat and light of Washington‘s monumental bonfire.

The National Park Service calls it "Ye Olde Yule Log," burning in a pit >>>


      A TIP OF THE SANTA HAT TO THE GIVERS OF GUCCI GULCH
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     When Global Action for Children, an advocacy organization for orphans and vulnerable children in developing nations, needed professional help to stage a Washington news conference this past April, it turned to Quinn Gillespie & Associates.

At the time, Global Action did not have enough staff to launch its n >>>


      INTEREST GROUPS PLAN BARRAGE OF ATTACK ADS, MAILINGS IN IOWA
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     A04 The upbeat pre–Christmas tone of the 2008 presidential campaign is about to shift.

While a frenzy of campaign activity in Iowa by labor unions and other special interest groups began earlier this month, with advertising carrying more or less positive messages about the candidates, federal election rep >>>


      PARTISAN FISSURES OVER VOTER ID
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     A01 The Supreme Court will open the new year with its most politically divisive case since Bush v. Gore decided the 2000 presidential election, and its decision could force a major reinterpretation of the rules of the 2008 contest.

The case presents what seems to be a straightforward and even unremarkable quest >>>


      THE IMPACT OF THE 110TH CONGRESS ON U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     PM Introduction The 2006 elections brought Democratic majorities to the House of Representatives and the Senate, with a new leadership determined to change U.S. policy in Iraq. In the first year of the 110th Congress, Democratic lawmakers steadily challenged President Bush but failed to budge policy on Iraq.

Th >>>


      14 SAILORS MISSING IN S. KOREAN WATERS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     SEOUL, South Korea –– Fourteen sailors aboard a ship carrying toxic chemicals remained missing Tuesday after their vessel disappeared off the southern coast of South Korea, Coast Guard officials said.

The South Korean ship was carrying 2,000 tons of nitric acid, but it is unlikely to pose a threat t >>>


      22 DEAD IN IRAQ SUICIDE BOMBING
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     BAGHDAD –– A suicide bomber in a pickup truck detonated his explosives outside a residential complex in northern Iraq on Tuesday, killing 22 people and wounding 30, police and hospital officials said. At least three children were among the dead.

The explosion occurred as Iraqi police and members of >>>


      6 DEAD IN NEPAL BRIDGE FALL
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     AM KATMANDU, Nepal –– Six people died and dozens were feared missing after a footbridge collapsed Tuesday in western Nepal, officials said. Hundreds of rescue workers were sent to the scene.

People gathering for a local fair were crossing the old suspension bridge at Chunchu village, about 310 miles >>>


      AFGHANS ARREST TWO FOREIGNERS ON SECURITY CHARGES
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan has detained two foreign nationals, who local news portals described as "European," for posing a threat to national security, a presidential palace official said on Tuesday.

The official refused to be drawn on whether the arrests were in connection with a recent gov >>>


      BETHLEHEM BASKS IN CALM AND CHEER
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     By Dalia NammariAssociated PressTuesday, December 25, 2007; A1' BETHLEHEM, West Bank, Dec. 24 –– Encouraged by renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Christian pilgrims from around the world converged on Jesus‘s traditional birthplace Monday to celebrate Christmas –– a >>>


      CASTRO HAS MENTAL FACULTIES, BROTHER SAYS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     HAVANA (Reuters) – Convalescing Cuban leader Fidel Castro has gained weight, is exercising twice daily and is in full control of his mental faculties in a signal of his recovery, his brother Raul Castro said on Monday.

Fidel Castro, who took power in a 1'5' revolution, handed over temporarily to R >>>


      DEPOSED THAI PRIME MINISTER PLANS RETURN
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     ':1' AM BANGKOK, Thailand –– Deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Tuesday he was planning to return home from exile and might advise the victorious party in last weekend‘s elections, sparking fears of another year of intense political conflict in Thailand.

Speaking in Hong Ko >>>


      EFFORT TO DEFEAT POLIO FACES UNIQUE CHALLENGES
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     By David BrownWashington Post Staff WriterTuesday, December 25, 2007; A02 The troubled 1'–year–old campaign to eradicate polio is celebrating recent progress and an unexpected infusion of cash, but experts are coming to realize they will not be able to end the expensive and laborious efforts to control t >>>


      EGYPT REJECTS ACCUSATIONS OF LAX BORDER
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     PM CAIRO, Egypt –– Egypt rejected Israeli criticism that its government has failed to stop smugglers from crossing the porous border with the Gaza Strip, saying Tuesday that Israel‘s foreign minister was "not fully aware of the situation." Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni infuriated Egyptian offi >>>


      HEIRS OF CHINA‘S NEW ELITES SCHOOLED IN ANCIENT VALUES
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     A01 CIXI, China –– In a borrowed classroom of the provincial Communist Party School, a newly busy philosophy professor addressed 15 well–groomed adult students. His message: Try to have a soul.

"In China, if you are only rich, people will not respect you. You also need good manners, an ou >>>


      HINDU LEADER BEGINS 3RD TERM IN GUJARAT
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     AHMADABAD, India –– A Hindu nationalist leader _ arguably India‘s most divisive politician _ was sworn in Tuesday for a third term as the leader of the western Indian state of Gujarat.

Thousands of supporters waving saffron flags gathered in an Ahmadabad stadium to watch Narendra Modi take the >>>


      ISRAELI CLUSTER BOMBING RULED WITHIN THE LAW
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     By Josef FedermanAssociated PressTuesday, December 25, 2007; A18 JERUSALEM, Dec. 24 –– Israeli military prosecutors have determined that Israel‘s use of cluster bombs during last year‘s war in Lebanon did not violate international humanitarian law, the army said Monday, closing an investigation i >>>


      ISTANBUL DEVICE EXPLODES, INJURING TWO: TV
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Two people were lightly injured when a small device exploded in Turkey‘s largest city Istanbul on Tuesday, CNN Turk television said, quoting Dogan News Agency.

The percussion bomb –– which makes a very loud noise but contains only a light amount of explosives – >>>


      JAILED IRANIAN STUDENTS TO BE FREED ON BAIL: LAWYER
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     TEHRAN (Reuters) – Three students jailed for up to three years on charges including insulting Iran‘s Supreme Leader have been granted release on bail of about $85,000 each, their lawyer said on Tuesday.

Lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah said the university students, who were arrested in May, remained in d >>>


      JAZZ GREAT OSCAR PETERSON DIES
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     TORONTO –– Oscar Peterson, whose early talent, speedy fingers and musical genius made him one of the world‘s best known jazz pianists, has died.

He was 82. Peterson died at his home in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga on Sunday, said Oliver Jones, a family friend and jazz musician. He said Pe >>>


      JAZZ GREAT OSCAR PETERSON DIES AT 82
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     TORONTO –– Oscar Peterson, whose flying fingers, hard–driving swing and melodic improvisations made him one of the world‘s most famous and influential jazz pianists in a career that spanned seven decades, has died. He was 82.

Peterson died at his home in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga >>>


      MAURITANIA SEEKS 3 IN TOURIST KILLINGS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania –– Mauritanian authorities said they were searching Tuesday for three men suspected of links with a local terror network in connection with the fatal shooting of four picnicking French tourists.

Gunmen opened fire on the tourists after they refused to hand over their money Mon >>>


      OLD TACTIC RETURNS AS GUNMEN SEIZE 13 IRAQIS FROM BUS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     December 25, 2007; A17 BAGHDAD, Dec. 24 –– Gunmen stopped a minibus driving north of Baghdad on Monday and abducted 13 Iraqi civilians inside, Iraqi police reported. The mass kidnapping was a renewed tactic that has grown increasingly rare as violence has ebbed in Iraq.

The gunmen had set up a check >>>


      OPPOSITION HOLDS POLL ADVANTAGE IN TIGHT KENYA VOTE
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     NAIROBI (Reuters) – Two heavyweights of Kenya‘s post–independence politics square off in a presidential vote on Thursday that has overshadowed Christmas and seen the opposition hold a small lead in opinion polls during the campaign.

The closeness of the vote has raised fears fraud and intimida >>>


      POPE WELCOMES CHRISTMAS AT MIDNIGHT MASS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     VATICAN CITY –– Pope Benedict XVI urged the faithful to set aside time in their lives for God and the needy, as he ushered in Christmas early Tuesday by celebrating Midnight Mass in St. Peter‘s Basilica.

Echoing a theme he has raised about an increasingly secular world, Benedict said that many >>>


      RAUL CASTRO SAYS FIDEL READY FOR NEW BID
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     HAVANA –– Raul Castro said Monday that Communist Party leaders support his brother Fidel‘s re–election to parliament, saying he is exercising two hours daily and gaining weight while keeping his mind healthy with reading and writing.

A seat in parliament is the first step in a process th >>>


      REPORTS: ITALY SEEKS DIRTY WAR SUSPECTS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     ROME –– Italian police made one arrest Monday as prosecutors issued warrants for former South American officials accused in crackdowns on dissent in several countries in past decades, news reports said.

Police in the southern city of Salerno arrested Nestor Jorge Fernandez Troccoli, a former naval i >>>


      SOUTH KOREAN CARGO SHIP FEARED SUNK, 14 MISSING
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     SEOUL (Reuters) – A South Korean–flagged freighter is feared to have capsized off the country‘s southern coast early on Tuesday and 14 sailors are missing, a coast guard official said.

One sailor, a Myanmarese national, was picked by a rescue boat after the Eastern Bright, a chemical products >>>


      THAI PARTY DECLARES COALITION SUCCESS
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     BANGKOK, Dec. 24 –– The Thai political party allied with deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Monday that it has recruited enough other parties to form a coalition government following its success in the country‘s first election since a 2006 coup.

The claim drew an immediate skeptica >>>


      THE WATER‘S A MUST, BUT THE BOTTLE COULD BE TROUBLE
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     Risk By Ben DobbinAssociated PressTuesday, December 25, 2007; A11 ROCHESTER, N.Y. –– Catching his breath at a fitness club, Matt McHugh took a gulp of water from his trusty Nalgene plastic bottle and pondered the idea of switching to an alternative made of glass, stainless steel or another kind of plastic.>>>


      TRIBALISM ISN‘T ON THE BALLOT, BUT IN KENYA IT‘S KEY ISSUE
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     By Stephanie McCrummenWashington Post Foreign ServiceTuesday, December 25, 2007; A16 NAKURU, Kenya –– Along a crowded sidewalk in this city, Esther Thuo and a friend were discussing their choices in Kenya‘s upcoming presidential election.

Thuo, a young professional, said she‘d vote to ke >>>


      TRUCK BOMB KILLS AT LEAST 20 NORTH OF BAGHDAD
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     BAIJI, Iraq (Reuters) – A suicide truck bomb killed at least 20 people and wounded 80 in the northern Iraqi city of Baiji on Tuesday, the U.S.

military and police said, in one of the deadliest attacks in Iraq in two weeks.

A Reuters photographer on the scene said the attack targeted a security ch >>>


      TURKEY SAYS 200 REBEL KURD TARGETS HIT
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     ISTANBUL, Turkey –– Turkish airstrikes and artillery have hit more than 200 Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq since Dec. 16, killing hundreds of insurgents, the military said Tuesday.

Up to 175 rebels were killed on Dec. 16 alone, the military said in a statement posted on its Web site. The mil >>>


      TWO BOMBS HIT IRAQI CITIES KILLING AT LEAST 26
      Washington Post, 25-12-2007
     ':04 AM BAGHDAD, Dec. 25 –– Two bombs in separate Iraqi cities ripped through crowds of people Tuesday, causing some of the worst carnage in the country in recent weeks and revealing that –– despite the relative calm of recent months –– insurgent groups remain capable of devastati >>>


      ‘I‘VE BEEN CHECKING A DOCTORAL PAPER WITHOUT CLOCKING IN FOR FOUR DAYS‘
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Haim Bior Tags: strike, education, Israel "We aren‘t hungry for bread," admits Dr. Nitza Berkovitch, from the Behavioral Sciences Department of Ben–Gurion University of the Negev. Nor does her family claim it can‘t get through the month. "But we‘re being de–legitimized,&qu >>>


      BOI RAISES INTEREST RATE TO 4.25%
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By TheMarker Tags: Stanley Fisher, BOI, Israel Exactly as predicted, the Bank of Israel raised its rates for January 2008 by 0.25 percent, to 4.25 percent. Most analysts had initially expected central bank governor Stanley Fischer to wait longer before raising local rates, but as the bank itself explained, inflation has >>>


      BUSINESS IN BRIEF
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     Real Estate Easy Start Travel Week‘s End Anglo File Hanukkah del.icio.us Digg It! new Business in Brief Antitrust Commissioner Ronit Kan yesterday ruled that the Bezeq phone company had abused its monopoly status in wireline communications, after the company disconnected HOT cable TV company subscribers from the B >>>


      CENTRAL BANK GETS NEW WAGE ACCORD
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Moti Bassok Tags: Israel, Stanley Fisher The Bank of Israel wage agreement, signed this week, ends one of the longest labor disputes in the history of Israel‘s civil service. Six issues over which the Finance Ministry could not reach agreement with the bank have been referred to an arbitrator, Eyal Avrahami, a >>>


      EXCESS PAY AT UNIVERSITIES COST NIS 464M A YEAR
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Meirav Arlosoroff Tags: strike, education, Israel A secret report written by the Council for Higher Education, which supervises Israel‘s universities, claims that wage irregularities are costing nearly half a billion shekels a year. The report, dated November 2006, says that most of the problems had already bee >>>


      IKEA PROMISES THIRD OUTLET, IN HAIFA AREA
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Efrat Adir Tags: Haifa, Israel, IKEA IKEA Israel announced that it plans to continue to expand in Israel, and will open a third, northern district outlet in metropolitan Haifa around 2011. Not that it has a second outlet yet.

The announcement followed a ruling handed down last week by Tel Aviv District Court >>>


      LEUMI SET TO PREEMPT HAPOALIM IN RACE OVER PENSION CONSULTING
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Eti Aflalo, Zvi Zrahiya and Shlomi Sheffer Tags: Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi As of January 1, 2008, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi will be licensed to provide pension consulting services for the self–employed, and for salaried workers in National Priority areas A and B, excepting Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beersheva. The >>>


      LEUMI TO PAY NIS 25M FINE IN MUTUALS CASE
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Shlomi Sheffer Tags: ISA, Bank Leumi, Israel NIS 25 million is the fine Bank Leumi will pay in its plea bargain with prosecutors, the Securities Authority (ISA) and bank representatives in the mutual funds marketing case.

The agreement, which has not yet been finalized, will close the book on an affair that >>>


      SENIOR LECTURER FOR 17 YEARS NETS NIS ',500
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Haim Baor Tags: strike, Israel, education Dr. Lev Grinberg has been a senior lecturer for 17 years and nets NIS ',500 a month, a sum so low that he‘s ashamed to discuss it. He doesn‘t deny that academics receive several extra payments on top of their base salary.

But Grinberg, who heads the S >>>


      TEVA PULLS UP TA–25 WITH 3.1% JUMP
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Tal Levy Tags: Israel, stock market, Teva Tel Aviv stocks finished the week‘s second day of trade with a positive bias on turnover of NIS 1.' billion. The TA–25 blue chip index gained 0.4% to close at 1223.64 points, just 1.1 percent from its highest–ever level.

The TA–100 added o >>>


      TIPS IN TIMES OF INFLATION
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Eytan Avriel Tags: inflation, economy, Israel In the year 301 B.C.E., prices in the Roman Empire were spiraling out of control. Rampant inflation sent both the people and trading systems into a frenzy. Emperor Diocletian tackled the problem the Roman way. He issued an order forbidding prices and wages to rise, and ru >>>


      DON‘T LET IT BE FURTHER MARGINALIZED
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Avirama Golan Tags: politics, Meretz, Israel The contest over leadership of the Meretz party, far from the majority of the public‘s eyes, is a sad reflection of the depleted state of the Israeli left. Its political principles, which earned it hate and curses, have been adopted – distorted and refurbished >>>


      LET THERE BE PEACE
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Michel Sabbah Tags: peace, Israel, Jerusalem Brothers and Sisters, I wish you all a Blessed Christmas.

"The grace and love of God have appeared to us" (Titus 3, 4). Advertisement We joyfully celebrate Christmas, hoping to see better days in our Holy Land, by the grace of God, by our own contributio >>>


      NOT BY LEGISLATION
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Haaretz Editorial Tags: Law, Israel, Knesset A bill that was approved yesterday in its preliminary reading by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation would forbid publication of a suspect‘s name before he is indicted, unless a court decides either that publication is essential to further the investigation, or >>>


      THE RICH GOT MORE
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Shlomo Swirski Tags: Israel, inequality Alongside the banner of economic growth, Israel must also fly the flag of social growth. This is the main conclusion of the annual report on Israeli society published last week by the Adva Center for Information on Equality and Social Justice.

For five years now the Is >>>


      THREE REPORTS DURING THE WAR
      Haaretz, 25-12-2007
     By Emmanuel Sivan Tags: Ehud Olmert, Israel While the Winograd Committee is polishing its final report, an experienced observer, Yoel Marcus ("One Comment About Winograd," Haaretz, December 21) offers an interpretation of the expected document, and maps out the public judgment that the report will engender. Th >>>



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