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      AU REVOIR JUM’AH
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     Syed Rashid Husain | Arab News After almost four decades in the industry, and 13 as president and the CEO of Saudi Aramco, the still boyish looking 60–plus industry veteran, with facial lines not reflecting age and the pressures of the top job, Abdallah Saleh Jum’ah is finally calling it a day. The career that beg >>>


      CORPORATE NEWS
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     Arab News Fayrouz Fayrouz International recently signed a deal with the Arabian Trading Supplies (ATS) of Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Sons as its distributor in the Kingdom to further extend its reach to consumers covering more ground with even larger quantities of the six Fayrouz flavors. As an unconventional, grown&nda >>>


      RANGE OF TURKISH PRODUCTS DISPLAYED AT ITFC SHOW
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     K.S. Ramkumar | Arab News JEDDAH: A Turkey Day was held at the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) premises, with an exhibition of the country’s products and art and craft on Wednesday.

IDB President Ahmed Mohamed Ali and Turkish Consul General Salih Mutlu Sen took part in the opening ceremony.

The event wa >>>


      COMPILATION OF THE QUR&#3'AN
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     I read your article about the compilation of the Qur’an. May I seek further clarification about the arrangement of verses in a long surah. For example, Surah 2 contains 286 verses and tackles many subjects. How was it arranged and why does it have the title, Al–Baqarah? (Nawaz) The arrangement of the Qur’anic vers >>>


      JUST THE ONE GOD
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     Commentary by Sayyid Qutb In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful Are they not aware that, among all the things Our hands have made, We have created for them cattle which they control. We have subjected these to them, so that some of them they use for riding and of some they may eat, and they have other >>>


      THE MODEL LIFE COMPANION
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     Adil Salahi, Arab News Happiness is the word that sums up the first marriage of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Khadijah gave him all that a man needs from a loving, caring and thoughtful wife. When we remember that Khadijah was a woman of sound mind and willing to place duty above comfort, we realize that the Prophet >>>


      FOREIGN WOMEN MARRIED TO SAUDIS ABUSE THE SYSTEM
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     Hassna’a Mokhtar | Arab News JEDDAH: A group of sociologists and a lawyer are currently studying the issue of non–Saudi women who marry Saudis and apply for divorce after obtaining Saudi citizenship.

Wail Joharji, 36, a lawyer and legal consultant, believes foreign women divorce their Saudi husbands as so >>>


      OVER 23,600 INDONESIAN WORKERS DEPORTED THIS YEAR
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     Ghazanfar Ali Khan | Arab News RIYADH: Saudi Arabia deported 23,644 Indonesian migrant workers, mostly maids, in 2008. Most of these workers entered the Kingdom on Umrah visas and overstayed, said senior Indonesian officials.

«The total number of Indonesian workers deported this year will be a little more >>>


      SAUDI BUILDS ‘CABLE CAR’ TO TAKE SON TO HOSPITAL
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     Arab News WILLPOWER WINS: Yahya Al–Khosafi takes his disabled son to hospital in Faifa on the cable car he built.

JEDDAH: Yahya Hassan Al–Khosafi, a Saudi residing in Faifa, a township in the southern Jizan province, has set up a cable car to take his disabled son to hospital.

According to >>>


      STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: CAMPAIGN STARTS ON MONDAY
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     P.K. Abdul Ghafour | Arab News JEDDAH: Princess Hussa bint Tarad Ashaalan, wife of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, will launch on Monday a nationwide campaign by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) to stop violence against women.

The HRC’s women’s wing said it was holding the yearlong campaign as >>>


      SUPPORT GROUP PLANS DRIVE TO RAISE ADHD AWARENESS
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     Hussam Al–Mayman | Arab News RIYADH: The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Support Group is planning to educate government departments, hospitals and members of the public about the need to provide help to children who suffer from the condition.

Details of the plan were revealed by Dr. Suad >>>


      MAHARASHTRA GOVT BEEFS UP COASTAL SECURITY
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     Shahid Burney | Arab News MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has taken steps to beef up security along the Maharashtra coastline, particularly after the recent terror attacks in Mumbai.

According to police sources, the state government will import 36 patrol vessels within the next three years. These high– >>>


      PAKISTAN ARRESTS 7 INDIANS
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     Azhar Masood | Arab News ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said yesterday it has arrested seven Indians in connection with a bomb blast in Lahore on Wednesday. The bomb–rigged truck exploded in a heavily guarded neighborhood of the city, killing a woman and injuring four people.

Security sources said police arrested Sa >>>


      PALESTINIAN MP GETS 30 YEARS JAIL
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     Mohammed Mar’i | Arab News POLITICAL VERDICT: Ahmed Saadat, right, arrives in the Ofer military court. (AFP) RAMALLAH, West Bank: An Israeli military court yesterday sentenced the secretary–general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ahmed Saadat, to 30 years in prison.

Saadat, wh >>>


      SINIORA SAYS NO INTEREST IN ISRAEL PEACE PARLEYS
      Arab News, 26-12-2008
     Agencies BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Western–backed Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said his country has no interest in holding peace talks with neighboring Israel at the moment. «I see no interest for us right now to discuss direct negotiations or indirect negotiations with Israel,» Siniora said in an interview wi >>>


      7–YEAR–OLD BEATEN SEVERELY IN PHOENIX PARK DIES
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     PHOENIX –– Police say one of two young boys beaten severely in an attack in a Phoenix park has died.

Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson says 7–year–old Jesse Ramirez died early Friday of his injuries. Ramirez suffered extensive head injuries in the Tuesday beating.

His cousin, 1 >>>


      A LESSON FOR OBAMA ON REACHING OUT TO THE FEDERAL WORKFORCE
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     By Max StierSpecial to the Washington PostFriday, December 26, 2008; A21 There has been much talk about President–elect Barack Obama looking to Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt for inspiration and insight on building his administration and charting his first 100 days in office.

But some of the mo >>>


      AFTER–CHRISTMAS SHOPPING UNLIKELY TO SAVE SEASON
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     PORTLAND, Ore. –– There‘s holiday joy and post–holiday blues, but for the nation‘s retailers it‘s all been one big downer.

The holiday shopping season was one of the most dismal in years and even the after–Christmas period, when consumers normally rush to stores to use >>>


      ANOTHER DOLPHIN FOUND DEAD AT JERSEY SHORE
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     AM TRENTON, N.J. –– Another member of a group of bottlenose dolphins that took up residence in two rivers near the Jersey Shore has died.

The co–director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center says the dolphin was discovered Thursday near the Route 36 bridge connecting Sea Bright and Highlands. >>>


      AP NEWSALERT
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     NEW YORK –– Caroline Kennedy tells AP she must work twice as hard as others if she is picked for Senate.
>>>


      ASK AP: DIGITAL TV SIGNALS, CAMPAIGN MONEY LIMITS
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     5:57 AM –– Candidates running for president can agree to limit their fundraising in exchange for public campaign funding. But what if a candidate reaches that limit and supporters keep sending in checks _ where does all that extra money go?

Curiosity about fundraising limits inspired one of the ques >>>


      CASH–STRAPPED STATES CUT JUVENILE JUSTICE PROGRAMS
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     COLUMBIA, S.C. –– State budget cuts are forcing some of the nation‘s youngest criminals out of counseling programs and group homes and into juvenile prisons in what critics contend is a shortsighted move that will eventually lead to more crime and higher costs.

Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentu >>>


      CHILD KILLED, WOMAN INJURED IN CONGRESS HEIGHTS
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     December 26, 2008; 11:12 AM A young girl was fatally injured in Congress Heights this morning, and D.C. police said an adult female was also injured, possibly in the same incident.

Details were sketchy, but police said the girl appeared to be 8 or ' years old. She was found, apparently stabbed, in a house i >>>


      ENVIRONMENTALISTS FEAR RISKS FROM TENNESSEE ASH SPILL; LEANUP PROGRESSES
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     HARRIMAN, Tenn., Dec. 25 –– Environmentalists worry the ash–laden sludge that coated a Tennessee neighborhood when a power plant dike burst could pose a health risk, although initial tests by a public utility company have shown no threat to drinking water.

Crews were expected to work through t >>>


      FAR WEST OF WASHINGTON, CALM BEFORE THE TERM
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     By Philip RuckerWashington Post Staff WriterFriday, December 26, 2008; A03 KAILUA, Hawaii –– When Barack Obama vacationed on Oahu as a presidential candidate in August, he was seen all over the island: playing basketball at his alma mater, eating shave ice with his daughters, bodysurfing in the Pacific, tour >>>


      FEDERAL JUDGES CALL FOR HIGHER PAY
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     WASHINGTON –– Earlier this year, Martin Jenkins took what looked like a step down the career ladder. Jenkins traded his lifetime appointment as a federal trial judge for a seat on a California state appeals court.

In his new job, Jenkins must periodically face the voters, but he reaped one immediate >>>


      FOR OBAMA, HUGE CHALLENGES VS. BIG ASSETS
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     AM WASHINGTON –– Barack Obama will inherit two wars and the worst economic conditions in three generations when he takes the oath of office on Jan.
20. Ironically, that challenge might be a blessing for the president–elect _ unemployment is so high and consumer confidence so low that even modest im >>>


      KENNEDY TELLS AP SHE‘LL HAVE TO WORK TWICE AS HARD
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     PM NEW YORK –– Caroline Kennedy tells The Associated Press she will have to work twice as hard as others if she is picked for the U.S. Senate.

Kennedy sat down with the AP on Friday for her first sit–down interview since she expressed interest in being appointed to the seat held by Hillary Rod >>>


      MAN IN SANTA SUIT KILLS 8, SELF ON CHRISTMAS EVE
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     COVINA, Calif. –– The bloodbath began when an 8–year–old girl attending a Christmas Eve party answered a knock at the door. A man dressed as Santa and carrying what appeared to a present pulled out a handgun and shot her in the face, then began shooting indiscriminately as partygoers tried to fle >>>


      MORMONS WELL–SERVED BY SELF–RELIANCE IN HARD TIMES
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     SALT LAKE CITY –– Bishop‘s Storehouse looks like any other grocery store at first glance: The shelves are neatly lined with canned goods and the smell of fresh bread wafts through the aisles.

But there are no cash registers. The fruits and vegetables, just–made cheeses and milk are free >>>


      NEW PROSECUTOR TO LOOK AT JONBENET RAMSEY CASE
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     BOULDER, Colo. –– A new prosecutor in Colorado says he plans to take a fresh look at one of the country‘s most high–profile cold cases _ the slaying a dozen years ago of JonBenet Ramsey.

Incoming Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said he‘ll decide what to do with the in >>>


      OBAMA VISITS MILITARY BASE ON CHRISTMAS
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     KAILUA, Hawaii (AP) –– President–elect Barack Obama visited military families while they ate Christmas Day dinner, thanking them for their service and posing for pictures.

Obama on Thursday visited Marine Corps Base Hawaii near his rented vacation home and briefly chatted with enlisted members >>>


      REPORT: ALBERTA MINES IMPERIL BIRDS
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     By Kari LydersenWashington Post Staff WriterFriday, December 26, 2008; A08 CHICAGO –– About half of America‘s migratory birds fly from destinations as far–flung as Chile to nest in Canada‘s boreal forest. In Alberta, that forest lies above tar sands that contain oil reserves second only to >>>


      SENATE RACE IN MINNESOTA REMAINS UNDECIDED
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – Officials trying to determine who won the November 4 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota recessed their deliberations on Tuesday until the end of the year without reaching a decision.

Unofficial counts showed one–time comedian Al Franken, a Democrat, leading Republican incumbent Se >>>


      STATES CUT MEDICAID COVERAGE FURTHER
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     By Amy GoldsteinWashington Post Staff WriterFriday, December 26, 2008; A01 States from Rhode Island to California are being forced to curtail Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor, as they struggle to cope with the deteriorating economy.

With revenue falling at the same time that more p >>>


      STUDY CRITICIZES BUSH APPROACH TO WAR FUNDING, CALLS FOR CHANGES
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     A07 President–elect Barack Obama‘s administration needs to monitor war spending much more closely than the current White House has, according to a new study that criticized President Bush‘s approach to funding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars –– a bill that is projected to approach nearly $1 t >>>


      THE LATEST BUZZ FOR BEEKEEPERS IS CROP INSURANCE
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     BISMARCK, N.D. –– The buzz in the honeybee industry these days is about crop insurance _ now available to beekeepers for the first time.

Some say the new program is expensive and amounts to betting on the weather. Others say it‘s better than having no protection at all. "In general, we th >>>


      THE REV. JESSE JACKSON WARNS OF JAIL HOTELS‘
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     CHICAGO –– The Rev. Jesse Jackson has warned against prisons becoming "jail hotels" during his annual Christmas visit to the Cook County, Ill., jail.

Jackson told 500 inmates gathered to meet him Thursday that people must stop thinking of prison as "free meals, medicine, heat and recr >>>


      TROOPER SAYS ELECTION DELAYED ALASKA DRUG CASE
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     WASILLA, Alaska –– The mother of Bristol Palin‘s boyfriend sent text messages discussing drug transactions less than a month after the young woman‘s mother, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was nominated as the Republican vice presidential candidate, according to court documents filed this week.

>>>


      US URGING CALM OVER POSSIBLE PAKISTAN TROOP MOVES
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     PM WASHINGTON –– U.S. officials watched with growing concern Friday as reports suggested Pakistan was massing troops to the India border. Such a move raises double–barreled worries: A possible confrontation between two nuclear powers and a shift by the Pakistani military away from battling the Taliban >>>


      UTILITY DOUBLES ESTIMATE OF TENNESSEE ASH DELUGE
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     HARRIMAN, Tenn. –– Public utility officials have doubled the estimate of how much ash spilled out of a retention pond when a dike burst at a coal–fired power plant in eastern Tennessee.

And nearby residents say the utility is not addressing their fears about whether the ash–laden sludge >>>


      VENDORS LOOK TO CASH IN DURING INAUGURATION
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     WASHINGTON –– President–elect Barack Obama‘s swearing–in could be a boon for Said Rangbar, among hundreds of people hoping to cash in on Inauguration Day.

The Washington street hot dog stand vendor plans to stock up his cart with food and drinks for the throngs of people expected t >>>


      WINTER STORM BLANKETS WEST WITH SNOW, HEADS EAST
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     RENO, Nev. –– While much of the nation got a reprieve from heavy snow and ice, another winter storm blanketed parts of the West, snarling holiday traffic and briefly darkening lights on Christmas trees before barreling eastward.

Winter storm warnings were issued Friday for Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, >>>


      BLAGOJEVICH ATTORNEY ASKS ILLINOIS PANEL TO SUBPOENA EMANUEL AND OTHERS
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     CHICAGO, Dec. 25 –– An attorney for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) has asked the legislative panel considering impeachment of the governor to subpoena more than a dozen witnesses, including President–elect Barack Obama‘s incoming chief of staff.

Ed Genson wants the committee to subpoe >>>


      IN TRANSITION | FCC
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     How is the transition likely to affect the Federal Communications Commission? What it does: The FCC was created by the Communications Act of 1'34. It regulates communications by radio, telephone, television, wire, satellite and cable. The growth of the Internet and wireless technology has expanded the agency‘s >>>


      LIFE‘S NOT NECESSARILY A BEACH FOR PRESS CORPS
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     By Philip RuckerWashington Post Staff WriterFriday, December 26, 2008; C01 HONOLULU, Dec. 25 –– It‘s prime time and CNN‘s Ed Henry is standing on the white sand of Waikiki Beach, reporting live on President–elect Barack Obama‘s holiday vacation in Hawaii. With the volcanic mountain Di >>>


      27 DEAD IN UKRAINE BLAST, MORE SURVIVORS UNLIKELY
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     KIEV, Ukraine –– Rescue workers were combing through piles of concrete and glass Friday in an ongoing search for survivors from an apartment building explosion in southern Ukraine, but authorities said hope was waning as the death toll climbed to 27.

Salvage teams have pulled 21 people out alive fro >>>


      3 CHINESE NAVY SHIPS LEAVE FOR SOMALIA
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     GUANGZHOU, China –– Chinese warships _ armed with special forces, guided missiles and helicopters _ set sail Friday for anti–piracy duty off Somalia, the first time the communist nation has sent ships on a mission that could involve fighting so far beyond its territorial waters.

The three vess >>>


      A PRIVATE FEUD TURNS INTO A NATIONAL ISSUE
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     A12 MONS–EN–BAROEUL, France –– It was a match made in heaven, and both families approved. The groom was a computer engineer, the bride a nursing student.

Children of Moroccan immigrants, they had thrived in French society and seemed at home with its ways.

But on their wedding ni >>>


      BRITISH CONJOINED TWIN DIES
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     LONDON –– A British hospital says Faith Williams, the month–old conjoined twin who survived a lengthy surgery to separate her from her sister, died on Christmas Day.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital say Faith was very sick and her death was extremely sad but not unexpected.

Fai >>>


      CHINESE OFFICIAL SAYS MANY SCHOOLS STILL UNSAFE
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     BEIJING –– Many of China‘s elementary and middle school buildings are structurally unsound with as many as 20 percent in one province considered unsafe, according to a government official.

School safety has become a major concern in China and an extremely sensitive political issue following Ma >>>


      EX–CAMBODIAN KING FIGHTING CANCER
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     PHNOM PENH, Cambodia –– Cambodia‘s former King Norodom Sihanouk is fighting his third bout with cancer but is optimistic he will recover and return to his homeland from China, according to a message on his Web site.

The 86–year–old Sihanouk, in a statement dated Wednesday, said he >>>


      FROM LOW ART TO HIGH FASHION IN INDIA
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     By Rama LakshmiWashington Post Foreign ServiceFriday, December 26, 2008; A12 NEW DELHI –– Pastoral poster images of cherubic Hindu goddesses on embroidered jackets. Indian comic strips, replete with kitschy thought balloons, on the dresses of runway models.

Manish Arora, perhaps India‘s most f >>>


      GUINEA TO HOLD FUNERAL FOR DICTATOR LANSANA CONTE
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     AM CONAKRY, Guinea –– A truck carrying the coffin of Guinea‘s late dictator made its way through the streets of the capital Friday, as loyalists mourned the strongman whose death has thrown the African nation into political turmoil.

The leader of the coup that followed Lansana Conte‘s de >>>


      IN TOGO, A 10–YEAR–OLD‘S MUTED CRY: ‘I COULDN‘T TAKE ANY MORE‘
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     and Abuse By Kevin SullivanWashington Post Foreign ServiceFriday, December 26, 2008; A01 LOME, Togo –– Adiza ran scared and crying into the street. Ten years old and 4–foot–', she fled the house where she had worked for more than a year, cleaning and sweeping from before dawn until late at ni >>>


      INDIA WARNS TRAVEL TO PAKISTAN IS UNSAFE
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     AM NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – India warned its citizens on Friday it was unsafe to travel to Pakistan and the prime minister met his military chiefs, while Pakistan canceled army leave and moved some troops from its western border.

The travel warning marked a dramatic rise in tension between the nucl >>>


      IRAQI PRIME MINISTER CANCELS IRAN TRIP; ATTACK IN MOSUL KILLS U.S. SOLDIER
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     26, 2008; A13 BAGHDAD, Dec. 25 –– Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al–Maliki canceled an official trip to Iran, officials said Thursday, drawing surprise from colleagues in his government.

Maliki‘s office said the trip was postponed after officials in the two neighboring countries failed to ag >>>


      ISRAEL COMPLETES PREPARATIONS FOR GAZA OFFENSIVE AMID CONTINUING ROCKET FIRE
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     JERUSALEM, Dec. 25 –– Israel moved closer to invading the Gaza Strip, saying Thursday that it had wrapped up preparations for a broad offensive after Palestinian fighters fired about 100 rockets and mortar shells across the border in two days.

Israel‘s foreign minister brushed off a call for r >>>


      ISRAEL REOPENS GAZA CROSSINGS A DAY AFTER OLMERT WARNING
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     GAZA (Reuters) – Israel reopened its border crossings with the Hamas–controlled Gaza Strip on Friday, a day after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert indicated the Jewish state was preparing for a possible offensive into the coastal territory.

Palestinian workers at the crossings said a limited amount of fue >>>


      ISRAEL TRANSFERRING HUMANITARIAN AID TO GAZA
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     JERUSALEM –– Israel renewed its transfer of humanitarian aid into Gaza on Friday despite continued rocket and mortar fire from the coastal strip and rising expectations of a large–scale Israeli military campaign against Gaza militants.

The military said approximately '0 trucks will deliver >>>


      LAWYER: ZIMBABWE ACTIVIST HELD IN NOTORIOUS PRISON
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     HARARE, Zimbabwe –– A Zimbabwean peace activist has been traced to a notorious maximum security prison despite a court order that she be taken to hospital, a leading human rights lawyer said Friday.

Jestina Mukoko and nine opposition members are being held accused of plotting to overthrow President >>>


      LITTLE BLUE PILLS AMONG THE WAYS CIA WINS FRIENDS IN AFGHANISTAN
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60–odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra. "Take >>>


      MEXICO BEAUTY QUEEN ORDERED HELD IN DRUG GANG PROBE
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A Mexican beauty queen arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking was ordered jailed for another 40 days on Friday while investigators probe suspected ties to violent smuggling gangs.

A judge ordered Laura Zuniga, the current Miss Sinaloa who was nabbed at a military checkpoint on M >>>


      OIL REBOUNDS FROM SHARP FALL IN PREVIOUS SESSION
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     –– Oil prices rebounded to above $36 a barrel Friday as key OPEC members were seen complying with promised output cuts, but investors were still braced for more signs that the global economic slowdown deepened in the fourth quarter.

By mid–afternoon in Europe, light, sweet crude for February d >>>


      PAKISTAN MOVES TROOPS TOWARD INDIAN BORDER
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     ISLAMABAD, Pakistan –– Pakistan began moving thousands of troops away from the Afghan border toward India on Friday amid tensions following the Mumbai attacks, intelligence officials said.

The move represents a sharp escalation in the stand off between the nuclear–armed neighbors and stands to >>>


      PALESTINIAN ROCKET KILLS 2 GAZA GIRLS: MEDICS
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     GAZA (Reuters) – A rocket apparently fired by Palestinians on Friday struck a house in the Gaza Strip, killing two Palestinian sisters aged five and 13, Palestinian medics said.

Hamas police said they were investigating the cause of the blast in Beit Lahiya village in northern Gaza, which medics said seem >>>


      POLICE: 13 KILLED IN IRAQI JAILBREAK
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     AM BAGHDAD –– Four suspected al–Qaida in Iraq insurgents broke out of jail during a riot Friday that killed six police officers and seven prisoners in the western city of Ramadi, police said.

Maj. Gen. Tariq Yousif, the police chief of Anbar province, of which Ramadi is the capital, said four >>>


      POLICE: BEAUTY QUEEN‘S BOYFRIEND WAS DRUG KINGPIN
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     GUADALAJARA, Mexico –– A Mexican beauty queen arrested in a truck filled with weapons was dating a suspected leader in the powerful Juarez drug cartel, police said Wednesday.

The boyfriend of Miss Sinaloa Laura Zuniga is Angel Orlando Garcia Urquiza, a top operative in the Ciudad Juarez–based >>>


      QUEEN ELIZABETH GIVES SOMBER CHRISTMAS BROADCAST
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     LONDON –– Britain‘s Queen Elizabeth II delivered a somber Christmas broadcast Thursday, acknowledging how the economic crisis has cast a shadow over the traditional festive season.

The sober tone was in sharp contrast to last year‘s address when the monarch opined about the value of a ha >>>


      SHARED MEALS, PRAYERS FOR 2004 TSUNAMI VICTIMS
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     AM BANDA ACEH, Indonesia –– The victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami were honored by thousands of mourners who prayed, burned candles and shared meals on beaches from Indonesia to India on Friday, the fourth anniversary of the catastrophe.

For many, the modest ceremonies were a time to reflect o >>>


      THIRTEEN KILLED IN JAILBREAK IN WESTERN IRAQ
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     December 26, 2008; 1:01 PM BAGHDAD, Dec. 26 –– Three suspected insurgents fled a jail in the western city of Ramadi on Friday morning after overpowering guards, Iraqi officials said. The jailbreak led to a gunfight in which six policemen and seven suspected insurgents were killed, authorities said.

>>>


      US COALITION SAYS IT KILLS 11 TALIBAN IN OPERATION
      Washington Post, 26-12-2008
     KABUL, Afghanistan –– The U.S. coalition says its forces have killed 11 Taliban militants including the leader of a bomb–making cell in an operation in southern Afghanistan.

The coalition says in a Friday statement the raid in Kandahar province targeted a bomb–maker responsible for roads >>>


      BUSINESS IN BRIEF
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     Real Estate Joy of Giving Travel Week‘s End Anglo File Business in Brief The number of workers earning less than minimum wage has grown by 35% in the last decade, the National Insurance Institute reported yesterday. Those most vulnerable to employers who violate the minimum wage laws are the youngest and oldest wo >>>


      CITRUS FARMERS‘ EXPORT WOES LOWER LOCAL FRUIT PRICES
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Amiram Cohen The drop in consumer demand in Europe has hit Israeli citrus growers hard.

Revenues from citrus fruit exports have collapsed by a third this season compared to last year, down to only NIS 400 million, reported the Plants Production and Marketing Board.

This will wipe out citrus farmers& >>>


      HARD LOOK / DON‘T WRITE OFF AFRICA ISRAEL JUST YET
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Ami Ginsburg The yields at which Africa Israel‘s bonds are trading paint a worrying picture.

Almost all the bonds it has issued are trading at roughly half the original value of the debt they represent, or less.

Advertisement The original value of the Africa Israel bonds trading on the Tel Avi >>>


      MARKETS IN BRIEF
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     The primary market isn‘t an inviting place these days and Eyeblaster wants none of it. The company, which developed a system to manage online advertising, said yesterday that it‘s withdrawing its shelf prospectus ahead of an initial public offering on Nasdaq. Eyeblaster had applied for a $115 million IPO in >>>


      PAZ HOPES STATE WILL BUY ITS WATER
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Avi Bar–Eli Zadik Bino‘s company Paz Oil is asking for the state‘s commitment to buy water from the desalination plant that the company is planning to build in Ashdod.

The state has undertaken to buy desalinated seawater from plants built through a proper tender process. They are not privat >>>


      TALK CAN BE CHEAP
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Barr Hayoun Tags: Phone Bill, Israel News You don‘t have to be a computer freak to find low–cost alternatives to calling friends in Israel or abroad. Startups specializing in telecommunications realized that offering low–cost or even no–cost prices wouldn‘t do the trick unless people cou >>>


      TASE ENDS A BAD WEEK UP SLIGHTLY
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Yael Pollak The trading week ended on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange yesterday with small gains, as the December options on the TA–25 blue chip index expired yesterday.

The value of the index for settling the month‘s options was 634 points, representing an increase of 1% in the index.

Howev >>>


      THE ARNONA CONUNDRUM
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Raz Smolsky Two neighbors living on the same street in the same city in apartments of about the same size may be paying different amounts of municipal tax.

Why? Just because. Cities charge different rates. Within the same city, residents will also get charged differential rates depending on neighborhood and >>>


      THE FIRST TYCOON TO FACE THE TEST: BENNY STEIMETZ
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Efrat Neuman and Sharon Shpurer Until recently, Benny Steinmetz was a major example of an Israeli who made it big on an international level, but also somebody known for his secrecy and daring.

Everyone said he operated in exotic locales in a wide range of areas including real estate, mining, engineering, inf >>>


      A ROAD TO REVOLUTION?
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Uri Gordon Three weeks have passed since the unprovoked police murder of 15–year–old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Athens, and the riots engulfing Greece show no sign of abating.

While the student occupations of the capital‘s three universities (Economics, Polytechnic and the law faculty) are >>>


      BETWEEN POPULISM AND FAIRNESS
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Zeev Sternhell Tags: financial crisis, Israel News Let me begin with an admission – I am not an expert on financial markets.

But judging by the achievements of the experts, the depth of their understanding of the behavior of the markets and the competence they showed in their forecasts, there is no sha >>>


      DANGEROUS EQUATION
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Benjamin Weinthal Tags: Israel News, anti–Semitism By lumping anti–Semitism with Islamophobia at a controversial one–day conference in early December, a Berlin academic center put the issue of Germany‘s post–Holocaust understanding of anti–Semitism in the public eye. Anti–Sem >>>


      IF IT WALKS LIKE A SOVEREIGN ...
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Geoffrey Aronson Tags: Barack Obama, Israel News The incoming administration of Barack Obama has carefully guarded its intentions regarding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Yet the appointment of Gen.

James Jones as national security advisor offers much more than informed speculation about policies th >>>


      IGNORANCE WAS BLISS
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Stephen G. Donshik Tags: Israel News, Madoff It‘s hard not to be mesmerized by the unfolding affair of Bernard Madoff, not to be in awe of how one individual kept such a gigantic fraud going over a period of decades. Those of us who monitor the allocation of valuable philanthropic dollars are bemoaning the fund >>>


      MONKEY TO MONKEY, WILL THE MESSAGE BE LOST?
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Yossi Sarid Tags: Israel News, Hebrew Readers of this column are already familiar with its tendency to confront those who seek to take apart the Hebrew language. Call me a purist if you like.

Every generation seems to throw out its own learned scholar from Plato‘s cave who insists on freeing us from th >>>


      THE CRISIS IS NOW
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Haaretz Editorial Tags: financial crisis, Israel News Figures show that the economy is in a real slowdown. Revenue from taxes is falling, more people are being fired and the business sector is in a process of contraction and cutbacks. To keep the slowdown from sliding into actual recession, a serious financial ailmen >>>


      TRENDY – AND A GOOD ACTOR TO BOOT
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Yoel Marcus Tags: Ehud Barak, Israel News Who are we to argue with Labor Chairman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak‘s public relations advisers, who have come out with the slogan for his election campaign: "He‘s not a back–slapper, he‘s not trendy and he‘s not a nice guy"?
>>>


      ZEN AND THE ART OF GAZA MAINTENANCE
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Doron Rosenblum Tags: Gaza Strip, Israel News Despite prevailing media winds, history does not tailor itself to arbitrary dates of the beginning and end of the calendar year, but usually sees the ebb and flow of foolishness or wisdom cross over from year to year. The snapshot of 2008, therefore, is likely to appear i >>>


      ANALYSIS / A HARD LOOK AT HAMAS‘ CAPABILITIES
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent Tags: IDF, Hamas, Gaza Strip Approximately 15,000 armed Palestinians. That‘s the size of the military force the Israel Defense Forces will face if a major operation in the Gaza Strip goes forward. These militants, from various Hamas factions, will presumably >>>


      BUSH PARDONS U.S. PILOT WHO SENT BOMBERS TO ISRAEL IN ‘48
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Haaretz Correspondent and Agencies , By Natasha Mozgovaya WASHINGTON – Officials in Jewish organizations in the United States this week were calling Charles Winters a righteous gentile, a hero of Israel‘s War of Independence who was insufficiently honored in his lifetime.

No less than 24 years pa >>>


      ELECTIONS IN BRIEF
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     Both Kadima head Tzipi Livni and Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu have assembled a security forum starring a former chief of staff for their parties, Shaul Mofaz and Moshe Ya‘alon, respectively. On Monday, Livni convened her forum to discuss developments in Gaza and yesterday, Netanyahu gathered his generals at T >>>


      GAZA OPERATION MAY LEAD TO HARMING OF SHALIT, EGYPT WARNS
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent Tags: Gilad Shalit, Gaza Strip Abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit is alive and being treated well by his captors, but an Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip may hurt efforts to bargain for his release, Egypt‘s foreign minister told Haaretz Thursday.

A >>>


      HAREDI FACTIONS CLASHING OVER UTJ LIST
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Yair Ettinger Bickering ultra–Orthodox factions have until Sunday to put aside their differences and draw up a joint Knesset roster for the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party before the deadline for submitting the list ends at midnight that day.

The rabbinical dynasties and their adherents that control t >>>


      HIT–AND–RUN VICTIM‘S WIDOW CALLS ON PUBLIC TO HELP FIND ASSAILANT
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Yuval Goren, Haaretz Correspondent Tags: Israel News, hit–and–run The widow of a truck driver killed earlier this month in a hit–and–run accident asked for the public‘s help last night to find the person who struck her husband, leaving him to die in the middle of the highway.

Ma >>>


      LEBANESE ARMY OFFICERS DISMANTLE 8 KATYUSHAS AIMED AT ISRAEL
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Haaretz Correspondent and AP , By Amos Harel Lebanese army officers say troops discovered and dismantled eight katyusha rockets fitted with timers that were on the verge of firing near the border with Israel. It is not known who set up the rockets, which were found near the border town of Nakoura in the western secto >>>


      NEW ANTI–LIVNI SLOGAN SLAMMED FOR BEING SEXIST
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Mazal Mualem and Ruth Sinai, Haaretz Correspondent Tags: Tzipi Livni, Kadima The gender card made a late but inevitable appearance on the political campaign scene Thursday when Likud launched ads featuring Kadima leader Tzipi Livni‘s image alongside a slogan reading "It‘s too big for Livni [to handle >>>


      NEWS IN BRIEF
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     A police officer was indicted yesterday by the Magistrate‘s Court in the Haifa Bay area for taking bribes. According to the indictment, Raphael Menashe, 37, who was coordinator of intelligence in the Haifa Bay suburbs district from 2004 to 2006, partnered with a known criminal, Charlie Wazana, in fraud and plannin >>>


      OLMERT TO HOLD SERIES OF CONSULTATIONS AHEAD OF POSSIBLE GAZA ACTION
      Haaretz, 26-12-2008
     By Amos Harel, Barak Ravid and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondents, and News Agencies Tags: Hamas, Israel news The Israel Defense Forces continued its preparations Thursday for military action in the Gaza Strip despite a decline in the number of rockets fired at the Negev Thursday. Reportedly, a "limited operat >>>



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