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      KEPPEL LAND GEARS UP FOR SR3BN JEDDAH PROJECT
      Arab News, 14-12-2008
     L. Ramnarayan | Arab News SINGAPORE: Keppel Land, one of Asia’s leading property developers, feels the time is right to invest and develop a premium site in Saudi Arabia.

This is despite the fact that economic uncertainties and stock market volatility continue to weigh down sentiments in the property market.
>>>


      SAUDI STOCKS UP OVER 4%
      Arab News, 14-12-2008
     Khalil Hanware | Arab News JEDDAH: After a break for Eid Al–Adha, the Saudi stock market showed positive performance on the first day of trading yesterday. The Tadawul All–Share Index (TASI) jumped 4.0' percent or 1'0.37 points to close at 4,845.25.

However, the index is still down 56.11 per >>>


      THE WAVE, MUSCAT WINS FIVE PROPERTY AWARDS
      Arab News, 14-12-2008
     Arab News RIYADH: Homes Overseas, one of Britain’s leading international property magazines, has awarded The Wave, Muscat five awards in different categories, all recognizing the remarkable contribution that The Wave, Muscat is making in changing the real estate landscape in Oman.

At a ceremony held in London r >>>


      CRUCIAL MEETING SET TO BOLSTER SAUDI–QATARI TIES
      Arab News, 14-12-2008
     Arab News RIYADH: The first meeting of the Saudi–Qatari Joint Council will be held in Riyadh on Tuesday. The meeting will be co–chaired by Interior Minister Prince Naif and Qatari Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al–Thani.

The recently constituted council aims to increase the political coor >>>


      EAT, DRINK AND SHOP WITH CAUTION
      Arab News, 14-12-2008
     Sarah Abdullah | Arab News JEDDAH: Since the announcement of China’s melamine–tainted milk scandal three months ago — which to date has contributed to the death of six infants and the illness of 2'4,000 children worldwide — recalls and new developments concerning the issue have been covered regularly in the gl >>>


      MURDERER ARRESTED
      Arab News, 14-12-2008
     Arab News JEDDAH: Police yesterday arrested a Saudi man in his 20s who killed a Sudanese man in Jeddah’s historic Al–Balad district on Friday.

According to eyewitnesses, the Sudanese man was driving his car when a group of youths blocked him from moving forward forcing the man to come out of his car to sp >>>


      SAUDI MISSION IN ATHENS SAFE, SAYS ENVOY
      Arab News, 14-12-2008
     Ghazanfar Ali Khan | Arab News RIYADH: The Saudi Embassy in Athens, which saw two of its diplomatic cars damaged during the recent troubles in Greece, is safe and has reported no damage during the unrest.

«The embassy, which has now opened after the Eid Al–Adha break, is far from the troubled area,& >>>


      THEY ARE FORCED TO WORK DURING HAJ SEASON TO MAKE ENDS MEET
      Arab News, 14-12-2008
     Badea Abu Al–Naja | Arab News UPHILL STRUGGLE: Selling wares in alleyways close to the Grand Mosque is the only way of earning a livelihood for this Makkah woman. (AN photo by Thamer Al–Farraj) MAKKAH: With the Haj season being the busiest period of the year for traders in Makkah, many widowed and divorced w >>>


      INDIAN JETS VIOLATE PAK AIR SPACE
      Arab News, 14-12-2008
     Agencies ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani Air Force spokesman says Indian aircraft violated Pakistani airspace but were chased back over the border late last night.

The violation comes amid heightened tensions between the nuclear–armed countries over last month’s deadly attack in Mumbai. India has said the attack h >>>


      INDIAN NAVY CAPTURES 23 PIRATES IN GULF OF ADEN
      Arab News, 14-12-2008
     NEW DELHI: The Indian navy captured 23 pirates who threatened a merchant vessel yesterday in the lawless waters of the Gulf of Aden, where dozens of ships have come under attack by gunmen in recent months.

An Indian navy ship, the INS Mysore, was escorting merchant ships off Somalia when it received a distress >>>


      PM URGES REGIONAL GOVTS TO ACT FIRMLY AGAINST TERROR
      Arab News, 14-12-2008
     Nilofar Suhrawardy | Arab News NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said governments in South Asia had a «moral duty» to take firm action against terrorism in the wake of Nov. 26 attacks in Mumbai.

Addressing the International Conference of Jurists on «Terrorism, Rule of L >>>


      SETTLEMENTS BLOCKING AGREEMENT, SAYS QOREI
      Arab News, 14-12-2008
     Mohammed Mar’i | Arab News RAMALLAH, West Bank: Chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qorei said yesterday that there can be no peace between the Palestinians and Israel as long as Jewish settlement activities continue in the West Bank.

Qorei said in a press statement: «The continuation of settlement activit >>>


      WIDESPREAD VIOLENCE MARS KASHMIR ELECTIONS
      Arab News, 14-12-2008
     Mukhtar Ahmad | Arab News BATON–CHARGE: Policemen chase Kashmiri protesters during an anti–election protest in Koil near Srinagar on Saturday. (AP) SRINAGAR: The electoral scene in Kashmir was bloodied yesterday, when security forces shot at a mob of anti–poll protesters killing a youth and wounding tw >>>


      ‘PULP FICTION‘ SCREENWRITER PLEADS OVER CAR DEATH
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     VENTURA, Calif. –– An Oscar–winning screenwriter of "Pulp Fiction" has pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol in a fatal January crash.

Roger Avary of Ojai was arraigned Friday in a court in Ventura. Authorities say Avary‘s car h >>>


      A LIFELINE FOR FAMILIES FACES CUTS
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     By Robin ShulmanWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, December 14, 2008; A02 NEW YORK –– Sometimes it seems as though all Doreen Tiseo does is care for her 87–year–old father, who has memory loss from Alzheimer‘s disease.

She supervises him in the shower and gives him reminders, such >>>


      ARIZONA OFFICIALS PONDER WHAT TO DO WITH 8–YEAR–OLD CHARGED IN SLAYINGS
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., Dec. 13 –– What do you do with an 8–year–old boy charged with two counts of premeditated murder?

Prosecutors and a defense lawyer in rural eastern Arizona are struggling to come up with an answer in the shocking case of a child accused of shooting his father and his fat >>>


      BIRTH CERTIFICATES TO REFLECT NY GAY–MARRIAGE MOVE
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     NEW YORK –– State officials will now let married same–sex couples list both their names on their children‘s birth certificates in a policy shift deeply important to many gays and lesbians.

The decision, which echoes similar provisions in states that allow gay marriages or civil unions, i >>>


      BUSH‘S SENSITIVE SIDE IS SHOWING
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     For President Bush, it seems, love is in the air. Standing Friday before a welcoming crowd at Texas A&M University, he talked about the "unconditional love" he received from his father, the "gift of love" given by a couple who care for foster children, and his eagerness to return to the "pla >>>


      BUSH MAKES FAREWELL VISIT TO IRAQ
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     BAGHDAD (Reuters) – President George W. Bush made an unannounced farewell visit to Baghdad on Sunday, just weeks before he leaves office and bequeaths the unpopular Iraq war to President–elect Barack Obama.

Slipping out of the White House over the weekend, Bush flew secretly to the Iraqi capital to >>>


      CLOSING ARGUMENTS TO BEGIN IN FORT DIX PLOT TRIAL
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     CAMDEN, N.J. –– They watched jihadist videos, listed to incendiary Islamist speeches, bought guns and practiced using them, and got a map of the Army‘s Fort Dix.

And they were secretly recorded by FBI informants as they talked about bringing a holy war to America.

But were the five me >>>


      CREWS FIGHT COLD, ICE TO RETURN POWER TO NORTHEAST
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     3:34 AM CONCORD, N.H. –– Temperatures fell over the ice–coated Northeast on Saturday, where storm–related power failures had already plunged more than a million homes and businesses from Pennsylvania to Maine into the dark and cold.

"If you don‘t have power, assume that you wi >>>


      DAKOTAS ADVISE AGAINST TRAVEL IN BLOWING SNOW
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     BISMARCK, N.D. –– Blizzard conditions made travel hazardous Sunday across the northern Plains and both North Dakota and South Dakota closed major highways and urged people to stay home.

The National Weather Service estimated as much as 13 inches of snow had fallen at Williston and about a foot in Bi >>>


      DISGRACED ILLINOIS GOVERNOR WEIGHS LEGAL OPTIONS
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     14, 2008; 3:16 AM CHICAGO –– Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich met with a renowned Chicago criminal lawyer Saturday as he weighed his legal options on how to fight a scandal that has left his career in tatters and disrupted President–elect Barack Obama‘s White House transition.

The Democrati >>>


      GLOBAL WOES POSE RISKS, ALSO OPENINGS FOR US
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     WASHINGTON –– The economic slump roaring across the world‘s geopolitical map poses weighty challenges, as well as some unexpected opportunities, for President–elect Barack Obama.

Japan and major European countries have joined the United States in falling into recession. China has seen it >>>


      HISTORIC CHINESE JUNK LOSES HOME, MAY BE DESTROYED
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     PM SAN FRANCISCO –– Half a century ago, six men with no sailing experience climbed aboard an aging Chinese junk in Taiwan and survived a typhoon that nearly wrecked the little ship. But after sailing nearly 7,000 miles across the Pacific, they were greeted by cheering crowds as they sailed under the Golden G >>>


      HOW THE NEW DEAL COMPARES
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     A04 Plans for a massive stimulus package are drawing comparisons both to the New Deal of the 1'30s and to the interstate highway program begun in the late 1'50s. The package‘s price tag –– possibly more than $500 billion

–– suggests that it could be at least as broad. But m >>>


      ILLINOIS OFFICIALS WEIGHING OPTIONS FOR OBAMA SEAT
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     CHICAGO –– Illinois officials say they‘re trying to figure out how to ensure that the process of choosing the person to fill President–elect Barack Obama‘s vacant U.S. Senate seat is not tainted by that state‘s political scandal.

Usually the governor makes the appointment, bu >>>


      LATE–NIGHT CALIF. MAYOR MUST LEAVE CITY HALL BY 11
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     SOUTH EL MONTE, Calif. –– Fed up with the nocturnal work habits of its mayor, a California city council has approved a curfew limiting how late she can work at City Hall.

South El Monte council members say they have safety and liability concerns for Mayor Blanca Figueroa, who frequently works until >>>


      LT. GOV., ATTY. GEN. MAY BE LOOKING AHEAD TO 2010
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     AM CHICAGO –– In many ways, Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn and Attorney General Lisa Madigan couldn‘t be more different: He has carefully promoted his image as an outsider and reformer; she comes from a powerful political family.

But both scored leadership points this past week after Gov. Rod Blagojev >>>


      MCCAIN PLEDGES TO WORK WITH OBAMA ON TOUGH ISSUES
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     WASHINGTON –– Republican Sen. John McCain pledged Sunday to work with his former Democratic rival, President–elect Barack Obama, on economic and national security issues.

He also rejected Republican attempts to link Obama to the scandal surrounding Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The chairman o >>>


      NEXT CLIMATE SUMMIT MAY TURN ON RICH NATIONS‘ APPROACH TO POOR ONES
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     A08 POZNAN, Poland, Dec. 13 –– The acrimonious end to the United Nations talks here early Saturday morning highlights the challenge rich and poor countries will face as they seek a global climate pact in the coming year, as well as a possible path toward compromise.

Much of the debate this year focu >>>


      NICHOLS SENTENCE MAY LEAD TO DEATH PENALTY CHANGES
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     ATLANTA –– A jury‘s inability to condemn courthouse gunman Brian Nichols to death has re–energized efforts by Georgia lawmakers to allow a judge to consider capital punishment even if there‘s no unanimous verdict, as a growing chorus of officials says it‘s time to give the policy anot >>>


      PALIN‘S CHURCH SEVERELY DAMAGED BY ARSON
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     ANCHORAGE, Dec. 13 –– Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin‘s home church was badly damaged by arson, leading the governor to apologize Saturday if the fire was connected to "undeserved negative attention" from her campaign as the Republican vice presidential nominee.

Damage to the Wasilla Bible C >>>


      POLICE: PIZZA MAN‘S CHEESY WEAPON FOILS A STICKUP
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     MIRAMAR, Fla. –– Police say a pizza delivery man fought back with the one weapon he had handy when a gun was pulled on him in a stickup: A large, hot pepperoni pizza.

Delivery man Eric Lopez Devictoria, 40, flung the steaming pie at the gunman, buying time as he ran for safety, police said.

>>>


      ROLLING PAPER GIANT SUES OVER NYC FIRM‘S T–SHIRTS
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     NEW YORK –– A prominent cigarette paper maker with drug–culture cachet is accusing a T–shirt company of stealing its distinctive style for a design celebrating President–elect Barack Obama‘s victory.

Bambu Sales Inc. _ a 244–year–old firm that proudly notes its pr >>>


      STIMULUS PACKAGE TO FIRST PAY FOR ROUTINE REPAIRS
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     December 14, 2008; A01 President–elect Barack Obama calls it "the largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1'50s." New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg compares it to the New Deal –– when workers built hundreds of bridges >>>


      THE NATION‘S WEATHER
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     AM –– Heavy snow was to fall Saturday in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest, where Blizzard Warnings were in effect. Rain and areas of freezing rain from the storm were to sweep through the Plains and Mississippi Valley.

To the west, cold air was to lower snow levels to only a few thousand feet f >>>


      TODAY IN HISTORY – DEC. 14
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     12:01 AM –– Today is Sunday, Dec. 14, the 34'th day of 2008. There are 17 days left in the year.

Today‘s Highlight in History: On Dec. 14, 17'', the first president of the United States, George Washington, died at his Mount Vernon, Va., home at age 67.

On this date: In 181 >>>


      TURNOUT IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS HIT 40–YEAR HIGH
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     WASHINGTON –– Enthusiasm among blacks and Democrats for Barack Obama‘s candidacy pushed voter turnout in this year‘s elections to the highest level in 40 years.

Final figures from nearly every state and the District of Columbia showed that more than 131 million people voted, the most eve >>>


      VICTIMS LASH OUT AT HOLLYWOOD PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     LOS ANGELES –– Victims of former Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano say they have never been able to free themselves from the emotional and financial fallout caused by crimes he committed while wiretapping the rich and famous.

A former reporter says she has nightmares about being hunted and rap >>>


      VIEWS ON AUTO AID FALL ON NORTH–SOUTH DIVIDE
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     By Peter WhoriskeyWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, December 14, 2008; A01 SMYRNA, Tenn., Dec. 13 –– People in this small town surrounding one of Nissan‘s busiest U.S. car plants have followed the news of the auto bailout with particular interest.

Namely, they wonder, what about us? Nissan i >>>


      WILD–HORSE ROUNDUP PLANS ANGER ADVOCATES
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     RENO, Nev. –– Wild–horse advocates are up in arms over new plans, announced by federal land managers, to conduct emergency roundups of nearly 2,000 more mustangs from the range in Nevada at a time when government holding pens are already overflowing.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has star >>>


      WOMAN ACCUSED OF BITING MAN AT NY BASKETBALL GAME
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     ROSLYN, N.Y. –– A woman has been charged with biting a security officer who was trying to break up a crowd at a Long Island high school basketball game.

Nassau County police say the 20–year–old Roslyn Heights resident bit the man on his arm and leg at the Roslyn High School game on Thurs >>>


      FOR SOME ON OBAMA TEAM, CAPITAL IS CLOSE TO HOME
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     C01 For some members of the incoming Obama administration, Washington is more than just the next political posting. It‘s home.

Soon–to–be Cabinet secretary Christopher Lu was a debater at Rockville‘s Thomas S. Wootton High School and has lived in the District and Northern Virginia. Futur >>>


      OBAMA MAKES A POINT OF SPEAKING OF THE PEOPLE, TO THE PEOPLE
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     A05 In the 26 years since the weekly radio address became a modern White House staple, presidents have often treated the speech to the nation as a task to be endured rather than an opportunity.

Not so with President–elect Barack Obama, who has been using his four minutes of weekend airtime not only to spe >>>


      THE TALK SHOWS
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     Guests to be interviewed today on major television talk shows: FOX NEWS SUNDAY (WTTG), ' a.m.: Sens. Bob Corker (R–Tenn.), Debbie Stabenow (D–Mich.), Illinois state Rep. Tom Cross (R), and former federal judge Abner J. Mikva.

THIS WEEK (ABC, WJLA), 10 a.m.: Sen. John McCain (R–Ariz.). NEWS >>>


      WEIGHING HIS OPTIONS, ILLINOIS GOVERNOR MEETS WITH CRIMINAL LAWYER
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     CHICAGO, Dec. 13 –– Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) met with a renowned Chicago criminal lawyer Saturday as he weighed his legal options on how to fight a scandal that has left his career in tatters and disrupted President–elect Barack Obama‘s White House transition.

The Democratic gov >>>


      BRITISH PM BROWN BLAMES PAKISTAN MILITANTS OVER MUMBAI
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     NEW DELHI (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown blamed banned Pakistan–based militant group Lashkar–e–Taiba for last month‘s deadly Mumbai attacks as tension between nuclear–armed neighbors India and Pakistan simmered on Sunday.

Pakistan said on Saturday Indian warp >>>


      BRITISH PM BROWN, SINGH MEET TO DISCUSS TERRORISM
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     NEW DELHI, India –– Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Sunday with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, visiting India to discuss fighting terrorism and calming tensions with neighboring Pakistan.

The two leaders had breakfast at Singh‘s residence as India tried to deconstruct the deadly >>>


      BROWN BLAMES PAKISTAN MILITANTS OVER MUMBAI
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Prime Minister Gordon Brown blamed banned Pakistan–based militant group Lashkar–e–Taiba for last month‘s deadly Mumbai attacks as tension between nuclear–armed neighbors India and Pakistan simmered on Sunday.

Pakistan said on Saturday Indian warplanes ha >>>


      BUSH MAKES FAREWELL VISIT TO IRAQ
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     BAGHDAD (Reuters) – President George W. Bush made a farewell visit to Baghdad on Sunday, flying in secret out of Washington just weeks before he bequeaths the unpopular Iraq war to President–elect Barack Obama.

Bush held talks with President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nuri al–Maliki, an >>>


      BUSH MAKES SURPRISE IRAQ VISIT TO CLOSE OUT TENURE
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     BAGHDAD –– President George W. Bush on Sunday made a farewell visit to Iraq, a place that defines his presidency for better or worse, just 37 days before he hands the war off to a successor who has pledged to end it.

Air Force One, the president‘s distinctive powder blue–and–white >>>


      BUSH NOTEBOOK: SURPRISES GALORE ON HUSH–HUSH TRIP
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE –– It sounded like something from a spy thriller. With little advance notice, White House officials told 13 members of President George W. Bush‘s press corps about his hush–hush trip to Baghdad, instructed them to pack their bags and swore them to secrecy.

The goal: >>>


      BUSH: WORK IN IRAQ HAS BEEN HARD; NEEDED FOR PEACE
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     BAGHDAD –– His legacy forever linked to an unpopular war, President George W. Bush flew under intense security to Iraq on Sunday where he called the nearly six–year conflict hard but necessary to protect the United States and give Iraqis hope. "The war is not over," he declared.

Bush >>>


      CLARK WINS UNLIKELY PLAYOFF TO TAKE AUSTRALIAN OPEN TITLE
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     SYDNEY (Reuters) – Tim Clark became only the third South African to win the Australian Open golf championship when he beat Tasmanian Mathew Goggin on the first playoff hole on Sunday.

A stunned Clark claimed the title when Goggin missed a two–meter putt for par on the 18th green at the Royal Sydney >>>


      DEATH ON TV REVEALS A SWISS HAVEN FOR SUICIDES
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     SCHWERZENBACH, Switzerland –– Twice a week, on average, in a nondescript building by the railroad tracks, a foreigner comes to die.

Most are terminally ill. Some are young and physically healthy except for a permanent disability or severe, debilitating mental disorder.

Drawn by Switzerland& >>>


      GOVERNMENTS LAUNCH MILITARY OFFENSIVE ON UGANDA REBELS
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     KAMPALA (Reuters) – Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and south Sudan launched a joint military offensive on Sunday against northern Ugandan rebels in Garamba, eastern Congo, a Ugandan army spokesman said.

The three governments agreed in principle in June to launch joint military operations against >>>


      GREEK GOVERNMENT UNDER FIRE OVER HANDLING OF RIOTS
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     AM ATHENS (Reuters) – A week of violence in Greece has taken its toll on the fragile conservative government, with opinion polls showing on Sunday many think authorities mishandled the worst rioting in decades.

The December 6 killing of a 15–year–old boy by police unleashed a wave of unrest by >>>


      HUGE CROWDS GATHER IN GAZA FOR HAMAS ANNIVERSARY
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip –– Gaza‘s militant Hamas rulers marshaled hundreds of thousands of supporters to a huge anniversary rally on Sunday, a show of muscle featuring a skit of a mock–captive Israeli soldier begging for his freedom.

Marking 21 years since its founding, a triumphant Hamas >>>


      IN RUSSIA, A GRISLY MESSAGE MARKS RISE IN HATE CRIMES
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     A31 MOS COW, Dec. 13 –– The e–mail that arrived Monday night in the inboxes of two organizations tracking hate crimes in Russia carried a disturbing message and an even more disturbing photo –– that of a man‘s severed head resting on a wooden chopping block.

"This surpri >>>


      IN S. AFRICA, ANC DISSIDENTS PLEDGE ‘NEW WAY‘
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     By Karin BrulliardWashington Post Foreign ServiceSunday, December 14, 2008; A16 JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 13 –– The South African city of Bloemfontein was the birthplace nearly a century ago of the African National Congress, the iconic liberation movement that toppled apartheid and dominates government.

No >>>


      INDIA DENIES ANY VIOLATION OF PAKISTANI AIRSPACE
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India denied on Sunday its warplanes had violated Pakistani airspace.

"The Indian Air Force denies any such violation of airspace," Air Force spokesman, Wing Commander Mahesh Upasani told Reuters, describing Pakistani accusations as an attempt to divert "the attention >>>


      INDIAN PM WANTS NORMALIZED RELATIONS WITH PAKISTAN
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     KHUNDRU, India –– India‘s prime minister said Sunday he wants "normalized" relations with Pakistan amid rising tensions between the South Asian rivals following the Mumbai attacks that left more than 160 people dead.

Addressing an election rally in Indian Kashmir _ a focal point of m >>>


      IRAQI FAMILIES VENT ANGER OVER KILLINGS
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     By Sudarsan RaghavanWashington Post Foreign ServiceSunday, December 14,
2008; A20 BAGHDAD, Dec. 13 –– They came for their mothers and daughters, their brothers and fathers, the young and old who died that day. Some hobbled in on crutches.

Others were helped in by relatives. One man wore dark sun >>>


      MEXICO KIDNAPPING DEATH STOKES OUTRAGE
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     By William BoothWashington Post Foreign ServiceSunday, December 14, 2008; A21 MEXICO CITY, Dec. 14 –– Her mother asked that mourners wear white, so the memorial service Saturday for Silvia Vargas Escalera seemed less grim than the circumstances surrounding one of Mexico‘s most notorious kidnappings.
>>>


      NEW REPORT SLAMS U.S. RECONSTRUCTION OF IRAQ: REPORT
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     NEW YORK (Reuters) – An unpublished federal draft report depicts the U.S.–led reconstruction of Iraq as a $100 billion failure doomed by bureaucratic infighting, ignorance of basic elements of Iraqi society and waves of violence there, The New York Times reported in its Sunday editions.

The Pentagon >>>


      PAKISTAN CITES AIRSPACE BREACH
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     By Candace RondeauxWashington Post Foreign ServiceSunday, December 14,
2008; A18 ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 14 –– Pakistan said Indian fighter jets crossed into its airspace Saturday, prompting Pakistan to place its air force on high alert two weeks after India vowed to take strong action against its nucl >>>


      PAKISTAN DOWNPLAYS ALLEGED INDIA AIRSPACE BREACH
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     ISLAMABAD, Pakistan –– Pakistan on Sunday downplayed alleged Indian violations of its airspace, suggesting the weekend breaches were "inadvertent" and "technical," an apparent bid to avoid deepening tensions already spiked by the Mumbai attacks.

Pakistani officials said Indian ai >>>


      PARLIAMENTARY VOTE IN GAS–RICH TURKMENISTAN
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan –– Voters in Turkmenistan cast ballots Sunday in a parliamentary election hailed by the government as an exercise in democracy but dismissed by critics as a sham.

The election of a 125–seat national legislature is the first parliamentary vote in the natural–gas ric >>>


      POLICE THWART MOSCOW RALLY, SEIZE '0–130
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     MOSCOW –– Police thwarted a banned anti–Kremlin protest in central Moscow on Sunday, seizing demonstrators and shoving them into trucks. Organizers said 130 people were detained around the capital but police put the number at '0.

The opposition movement headed by fierce Kremlin critic and >>>


      PRESIDENT OF TAIWAN INDICTED
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     TAIPEI, Taiwan, Dec. 13 –– Businesspeople rushed to deliver expensive jewelry and cardboard boxes stuffed with cash to the tree–canopied mansion of Taiwan‘s top leader to secure valuable political favors.

Top–flight chefs prepared exotic dishes to tempt the palate –– an >>>


      RAUL CASTRO SALUTES CHAVEZ IN 1ST TRIP AS PREZ
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     12:10 PM CARACAS, Venezuela –– Cuban President Raul Castro spent Sunday in private meetings with socialist ally Hugo Chavez after a warm public salute to the Venezuelan president for helping Cuba through difficult times.

Castro and Chavez were not scheduled to appear in public the day after they agr >>>


      SEEDS OF HOPE: FREEZING VAULTS GUARD EARTH‘S FLORA
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     ARDINGLY, England –– The underground bunker can block nuclear fallout, withstand a direct hit by a jetliner, and is cooled to a deathly chill.

The ultramodern facility in the tranquil English countryside looks like a perfect lab for a James Bond villain, but it doesn‘t hide anything sinister.< >>>


      SOMALIA‘S PRESIDENT SAYS HE HAS FIRED PM
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     MOGADISHU, Somalia –– Somalia‘s president says has fired his prime minister for failing to bring security to the war–torn country.

President Abdullahi Yusuf says he dismissed Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein on Sunday.

Somalia has been without an effective government since 1 >>>


      SOUTH AFRICA ANC USES APARTHEID–STYLE INTIMIDATION: RIVALS
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A breakaway faction of South Africa‘s ruling ANC on Sunday accused the party of mounting a campaign of intimidation against its supporters.

Public servants have been threatened with dismissal if they offered support for the new Congress of the People (COPE), its interim chai >>>


      SUICIDE BOMB KILLS 4 POLICEMEN IN AFGHANISTAN
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) – A suicide bomb killed at least four policemen on Sunday in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, local police said.

The escalation of violence in Afghanistan this year, the bloodiest period since the Taliban was ousted in 2001, has raised fears about the prospects of stab >>>


      SWEDISH WATCHDOG EYES WEB SITE NAMING RAPISTS
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     STOCKHOLM, Sweden –– A government watchdog in Sweden is investigating a Web site that publishes the names of convicted sex offenders for potential breach of privacy, an official said Sunday.

Data Inspection Board lawyer Jonas Agnvall said the board opened the investigation after receiving complaints >>>


      THAI OPPOSITION DEMOCRATS FAVORED TO WIN PM VOTE
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand‘s parliament votes for a new prime minister on Monday, with the opposition Democrats favorites to emerge at the head of a weak coalition government as the economy flirts with recession. Another small political party pledged on Sunday to back Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, who >>>


      THAILAND‘S DEMOCRAT PARTY READY TO REGAIN POWER
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     BANGKOK, Thailand –– The battleground of Thai politics was set to shift from the streets to Parliament, as lawmakers prepared to vote Monday on a new prime minister.

The Democrat Party, which has not been in power for eight years, is confident it has the support of enough lawmakers to elect its Oxfo >>>


      U.K.‘S BROWN AIMS TO CURB TENSION IN WAKE OF MUMBAI ATTACKS
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     By Candace RondeauxWashington Post Foreign ServiceSunday, December 14,
2008; 10:0' AM ISLAMABAD, Dec. 14 –– British Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised Sunday to provide Pakistan with more information about Pakistani links to the Mumbai attacks late last month, saying that Britain would also work to >>>


      U.S. WILL PUSH U.N. FOR SOMALIA MISSION
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     By Colum LynchWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, December 14, 2008; A26 UNITED NATIONS –– The Bush administration will mount a last–ditch push this week to muster international backing for a relatively small U.N. peacekeeping mission in Somalia, in an effort to help stem piracy and prevent the resurge >>>


      US SENATOR SERVES MILITARY DUTY IN AFGHANISTAN
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     KABUL, Afghanistan –– The men around Lindsey Graham ignored his powerful political title _ U.S. senator _ and instead addressed him by rank _ colonel.

Graham, a Republican from South Carolina and the only U.S. senator in the military‘s Guard or Reserves, donned the Air Force‘s camouflage >>>


      WOMAN BLINDED BY SPURNED MAN INVOKES ISLAMIC RETRIBUTION
      Washington Post, 14-12-2008
     A01 TEHRAN –– Ameneh Bahrami once enjoyed photography and mountain vistas.

Her work for a medical equipment company gave her financial independence. Several men had asked for her hand in marriage, but the hazel–eyed electrical technician had refused them all. "I wanted to get married, but >>>


      BUSINESS IN BRIEF
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     Real Estate GA 2008 Travel Week‘s End Anglo File Business in Brief Tnuva employees are delaying supplies of products to supermarkets in response to management plans to fire workers. A number of supermarket chains said they have had problems with deliveries from Tnuva and they are short of some products. "This >>>


      COURT: HOLIDAYS NOT INCLUDED IN THE TWO WEEKS ALLOWED TO CANCEL PHONE SALES
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Amit Benaroia Tags: israel news The law allows consumers to cancel purchases and agreements they made via door–to–door and telephone sales within two weeks, but what happens when the 14–day period ends on a legal holiday?

The Small Claims court in Tel Aviv ruled last week that if the final >>>


      HIGH–TECH R&D CENTERS FACING BIG CUTS
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Guy Grimland and Paz Vaysman Tags: high–tech, israel news When Amdocs decided to close its Jerusalem development center and fire 200 of its workers, it was a very serious sign that the global economic crisis was about to change the Israeli high–tech industry.

Even though the billing software gian >>>


      MIDROOG TO LOWER LEUMI‘S RATINGS FOR CAPITAL NOTES
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Sharon Shpurer Tags: israel news Ratings agency Midroog is expected to announce it is lowering Bank Leumi‘s rating for subordinated capital notes from Aaa,the equivalent of Maalot‘s AAA, to Aa1. However, the Leumi‘s other ratings, such as for bond issues, are not being changed.

Midroog is a >>>


      MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES STILL ON THE RISE
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Sharon Shpurer Tags: real estate, israel news The average interest rate on Israeli mortgages continued to climb in November and reached 4.04%, compared to 3.88% in October.

November was the fourth month in a row that the rates have risen, are now 0.56% higher than in July. This means new home buyers are now >>>


      A JUDICIAL AND MORAL MISCARRIAGE
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Haaretz Editorial Tags: Hebron, Israel News The arrest of settler Ze‘ev Braude, who was filmed shooting Palestinian civilians at close range, sheds more light on the law enforcement system applied to the Jewish population in the occupied territories. Judges in two courts rejected prosecutors‘ requests to >>>


      AVANTI POPULI
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Gideon Levy Tags: Tzipi livni, israel news The Kadima primary this week is no more than the election of a condo committee.

And this is the last chance: The condo is slated for demolition, an urban renewal project. Kadima will not survive. The ideological power of the new Dash has been exhausted, its leadersh >>>


      THE POGROM AS HERITAGE
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Mark Baker Tags: disputed house, israel news Try calling a Jew a Nazi or the Jewish state a form of Judeo–Nazism, and the wrath of the community will descend upon you.

Yet a fine historical distinction has been drawn these days to judge by the epithets used to describe a community of Jews committing ac >>>


      THE SUBSTANCE OF SEMANTICS
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Elie Podeh Tags: peace plan, palestinians The recent debate in the pages of Haaretz over the clause dealing with the question of Palestinian refugees in the Saudi peace initiative (Matti Steinberg on November 30, Daniel Schueftan on December 5 and Alexander Yakobson on December 7) reflects the traditional manner in w >>>


      WASHINGTON IS CALLING
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Zvi Bar‘el Tags: iran, israel news Take the recent past as a guide. George Bush Sr. went to war against Iraq, and Bill Clinton was forced to deal with its consequences. George Bush Jr. went to war in Afghanistan and in Iraq – Obama will have to cope with their tail ends.

His vision is taking shap >>>


      8 ARRESTED IN MURDER OF JEWISH MAN IN YEMEN
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Yoav Stern Tags: israel news Eight men have been arrested in Yemen on suspicion of involvement of the murder Thursday of Moshe Nahari, a father of nine. Nahari was shot to death in a market in the city of Rida, after the alleged murderer called on him to convert to Islam.

The alleged assailant, a former Yeme >>>


      AMOS OZ: MIDEAST CONFLICT KEPT ALIVE BY FANATICS
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Haaretz Correspondent and DPA , By Haggai Hitron Tags: amos oz, israel news Amos Oz was presented yesterday with a top German award for his political and literary work.

Oz, 6', was honored by the city of Dusseldorf with the Heinrich Heine Prize for combining "literary creativity with political sensi >>>


      AUSTRIAN PRESIDENT: FAR RIGHT‘S ELECTORAL GAINS DON‘T REFLECT COUNTRY
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Yishai Halper, Haaretz Correspondent Tags: austria, heinz fischer Austrian President Heinz Fischer, who arrived in Israel Saturday, said Thursday that the extreme right‘s electoral achievements in the Austrian elections two months ago do not reflect the political atmosphere in his country.

"Not ev >>>


      BEN–GURION AIRPORT TO OPEN FITNESS CENTER FOR HEALTH–CONSCIOUS FLIERS
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Zohar Blumenkrantz, Haaretz Correspondent Tags: Air travelers will soon be able to squeeze in a workout ahead of take–off, as Ben–Gurion International Airport prepares to open its first fitness facility this week.

The gym, which follows an international trend, will be run by the Zeus fitness chai >>>


      END OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP? AYALON, MELCHIOR NIX MERGER
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Roni Singer–Heruti MK Ami Ayalon, who was a minister without portfolio when he quit Labor last month, will not run on a shared Knesset list with the Meimad party, he announced yesterday in an appearance with Meimad leader Rabbi Michael Melchior.

"Under the current political conditions, it is impos >>>


      FRESH FACES IN THE FRAME AS MERETZ SELECTS ROSTER
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Roni Singer–Heruti Tags: elections, israel news About 1,000 Meretz members who are eligible to vote in the primary are expected to converge on the Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center at Tel Aviv‘s Hayarkon Park this afternoon to choose the list of Knesset hopefuls for their party.

The use of >>>


      GREEN MOVEMENT HOLDS FIRST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PRIMARY
      Haaretz, 14-12-2008
     By Ofri Ilani Tags: elections, israel news Every politician knows that primaries are a messy business. Not only because of the intrigues and hit lists, but also because of the tremendous amount of placards and flyers published by candidates that remain strewn around after the ballots have closed.

On Friday the >>>



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