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      GCC SUMMIT TO FOCUS ON GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     P.K. Abdul Ghafour | Arab News JEDDAH: The impact of global financial crisis and the sharp decline of oil prices on the economies of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states will figure high on the 2'th GCC summit that begins in Oman’s capital Muscat tomorrow.

«The GCC leaders will discuss the financial >>>


      HSBC REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO ISLAMIC FINANCE
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Mushtak Parker | Arab News London: HSBC Amanah, the global Islamic banking division of the UK’s HSBC Group, complete with its new brand logo «Islamic Finance for Life,» recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary in the plush surroundings of the ballroom of the London Hilton Hotel in Park Lane. Despite the doom >>>


      SAUDI CREDIT BANK EXTENDS LOAN WORTH SR600 MILLION
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Abdul Aziz Abdul Wahid | Arab News AL–JOUF: The Al–Jouf branch of the Saudi Credit Bank extended loans worth SR600 million to 26,000 citizens during the current financial year.

«Al–Jouf’s is the only branch of the Saudi Credit Bank that completes the processing and payment to a loan appl >>>


      ‘KHULWA’ DETENTION
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Abdulaziz Abdulwahid | Arab News AL–JOUF: Police in Dawmat Al–Jandal arrested an Arab expatriate following a complaint from his Saudi sponsor that he was in illegal seclusion (khulwa) with a housemaid.

The Saudi had sent the worker on an errand to his house where only the maid was present. But when >>>


      EXPAT ARRESTED OVER BURGLARY
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Abdulaziz Abdulwahid | Arab News QURAYAT: Police here arrested an Arab on charges that he robbed SR30,000 and two cell phones from another expatriate after breaking into his house.

The man confessed to the crime while the police were interrogating him on a charge of persuading a young woman from another town to >>>


      FIRE CAUSES EVACUATION AT ABHA GENERAL HOSPITAL
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Hayat Al–Ghamdi | Arab News ABHA: Patients at the Abha General Hospital were evacuated yesterday following an electric short circuit, which caused cables to go on fire.

Those evacuated included 20 newborn babies and 23 in–bed patients who were taken to nearby hospitals. An official hospital spokesma >>>


      MAKKAH OFFICIALS WORK TO CURB CRIME
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Badea Abu Al–Naja | Arab News MAKKAH: Representatives from 41 government organizations attended a meeting here yesterday to discuss preparations for the «Makkah Without Crime» project that is to start in April.

The meeting was held at the office of Gen. Turki bin Ibrahim Al–Qinawi, direc >>>


      MUNICIPALITY TO TURN INFAMOUS SEWAGE LAKE INTO GREEN ZONE
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Hasan Hatrash | Arab News JEDDAH: Prince Mansour bin Miteb, deputy minister of municipal and rural affairs, will inaugurate a number of projects in Jeddah next week, including an SR28 million project that aims at turning Jeddah’s infamous sewage lake into an environmentally friendly massive green area.

Ibrahim >>>


      OIC, GCC DENOUNCE MASSACRE IN GAZA
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     P.K. Abdul Ghafour | Arab News JEDDAH: The 57–member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) as well as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) yesterday denounced Israel’s massacre of Palestinians and urged the international community to stop this barbarism immediately.

«The latest Israeli massacre >>>


      SENEGALESE ARRESTED FOR ROOMMATE’S MURDER
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Arab News JEDDAH: A Senegalese expatriate suspected of murdering a compatriot who was his roommate has been arrested in Jeddah.

«The suspect and the victim were friends and shared a room in Briman district of Jeddah,» Col. Misfar Al–Juaid, spokesman for Jeddah police, said yesterday.

>>>


      SIDELIGHTS: FOUL LANGUAGE PUTS OFF JUDGE
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Arab News JEDDAH: A judge in the Court of Grievances had to take a break from the foul language coming out of the mouths of Saudi businesswoman and a real–estate broker she says cheated her in a land deal, according to yesterday’s Al–Eqtisadiah daily. After bringing down his blood pressure by taking a break, >>>


      VICE COPS IN YANBU SHUT DOWN WOMEN–ONLY PARK
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Arab News YANBU: The Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice closed down the only women’s park in Yanbu on Thursday. The move resulted in the loss of 60 jobs for local women, Al–Watan newspaper reported yesterday.

Suleiman Al–Hamadi, vice chairman of the commission’s Yanbu branch, >>>


      14 HELD IN BAHRAIN FOR PLOTTING ATTACKS
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     AP MANAMA: Fourteen people have been arrested for plotting attacks on the Bahraini capital Manama, Bahrain’s interior minister said yesterday.

Sheikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al–Khalifa told reporters that those arrested have been trained in weapons and explosives in Syria and were planning to attack commercia >>>


      ISRAEL RAINS DEATH ON GAZA
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Hisham Abu Taha | Arab News A man cries over a dead body at the Hamas security headquarters in Gaza City on Saturday. (AP) GAZA CITY: Israeli warplanes and combat helicopters rained death on the Gaza Strip yesterday, killing at least 225 people and injuring over 750.

Black smoke billowed over Gaza City, where t >>>


      MUSLIM REBELS WANT INTERNATIONAL GUARANTEE AHEAD OF PEACE TALKS RESUMPTION
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Al Jacinto | Arab News MANILA: The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) wants an «international guarantee» for any peace agreement before resuming talks with government, claiming it is still haunted by the row over the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA–AD) that led to the Supreme Court b >>>


      PAKISTAN SEEKS TO REDUCE TENSIONS
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Azhar Masood | Arab News ISLAMABAD: Pakistan again said yesterday it did not want war with India, as the international community tried to defuse tensions between the nuclear–armed neighbors after Islamabad moved troops to the border.

The United States and Russia led calls for calm in both Islamabad and Ne >>>


      PAKISTANIS MOURN BENAZIR A YEAR AFTER ASSASSINATION
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Sumaira Jajja | Arab News KARACHI: Hundreds of thousands of supporters of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto gathered in her home town yesterday to mark the first anniversary of her assassination.

Almost a year has passed since Benazir was assassinated. Since then, quite a few things have changed. F >>>


      PRAYERS AND DEFIANCE
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Nidal Al–Mughrabi | Reuters GAZA CITY: Some policemen recited their last prayers as they lay fatally wounded in the wreckage of Israel’s devastating airstrikes.

Others, their limbs torn off by the explosions, shouted defiance. Nearly half of the 225 people killed were members of Hamas security forces. &la >>>


      PRC OBSERVES JINNAH’S BIRTHDAY
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Arab News JEDDAH: Pakistan Repatriation Council (PRC) held a function to mark Pakistan founder Quaid–e–Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s 132rd birthday. Farouk Luqman, writer and editor in chief of Urdu News and Malayalam News, was the chief guest.

Syed Riaz Hussain Bukhari, president Pakistan Peoples Comm >>>


      TERRORIST THREAT TO BLOW UP PUNE POLICE HQ STIRS ROW
      Arab News, 28-12-2008
     Shahid Burney | Arab News PUNE/MUMBAI: The terrorists threat to blow up the Pune police commissioner’s headquarters yesterday echoed in both houses of the state legislature in its ongoing winter session in Nagpur, with the state Home Minister Jayant Patil assuring the members that adequate security measures have already >>>


      AFTER 30 YEARS, JOHN WARNER EXITS SENATE AT PEACE
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     WASHINGTON –– After five terms in the Senate, service in two wars and in his third marriage at age 82, John W. Warner still retains the unbent posture and bearing of the Marine he once was.

When he took his seat in the U.S. Senate 30 years ago, he was the rakish husband of Elizabeth Taylor with movi >>>


      ASK WHY: STATES SEEK EFFICIENCY VIA JAPANESE WAY
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     PM COLUMBUS, Ohio –– The time it takes to get a complaint decided at Ohio‘s Bureau of Workers‘ Compensation has plummeted from an average of 142 days to 34. Licensing a snowmobile in Iowa involves '0 percent fewer steps today than it did two years ago.

A growing number of cash– >>>


      AXELROD: SLOWING ECONOMY WON‘T DETER TAX CUTS
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     WASHINGTON –– A top adviser to President–elect Barack Obama said Sunday that the country‘s slowing economy won‘t keep the new administration from fulfilling its plans for a middle–class tax cut.

"We feel it‘s important that middle class people get some relief now,& >>>


      BAD HARVEST, LOW DEMAND THREATEN PACIFIC FISHERMEN
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     HALF MOON BAY, Calif. –– An unusually weak Dungeness crab harvest is compounding the financial woes of West Coast fishermen who were already struggling with depressed consumer demand and the unprecedented collapse of the Pacific chinook salmon fishery.

Commercial fishermen in California, Oregon and >>>


      COLORADO AVALANCHE KILLS 2 SNOWMOBILERS
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     GRAND LAKE, Colo. –– An avalanche in Colorado has killed two snowmobilers. The Grand County sheriff‘s office says the avalanche occurred Saturday afternoon as four Colorado residents were snowmobiling near Grand Lake, on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Three of them were caught in the >>>


      FORMER MIAMI NEWSPAPER TITAN DIES AT AGE 87
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     MIAMI –– Alvah H. Chapman Jr., former president and chief executive officer of The Miami Herald, chairman of Knight Ridder Corp. and a champion of philanthropic causes in South Florida, has died. He was 87.

Chapman succumbed to pneumonia on Christmas Day after spending the holiday with his family in >>>


      HEATER ACCIDENT KILLS 7 IN PA. HOME
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 27 –– A portable heater burning kerosene or gasoline sparked a house fire that killed seven people, four of them children, in southwest Philadelphia, fire authorities and eyewitnesses said Saturday.

The fire erupted in a basement social room of a duplex where a group of adults was >>>


      LIBERIANS MOURN 7 KILLED IN PHILADELPHIA FIRE
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     PHILADELPHIA –– Dozens of Liberian immigrants mourned Saturday at a house where seven members of their community died in a fire that a survivor said started when a kerosene heater spilled fuel and exploded as it was being moved outdoors.

Authorities have not released the names of all the victims, bu >>>


      LTGOV: BLAGOJEVICH OUT BY LINCOLN‘S 200TH BIRTHDAY
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     CHICAGO –– The lieutenant governor of Illinois says he believes scandal–plagued Gov. Rod Blagojevich will be out of office in less than two months.

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn said Sunday on CBS‘ "Face the Nation" that he thinks Blagojevich will be impeached and convicted by Illinois la >>>


      MORE COLD CASES
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     Police nationwide are solving a smaller share of homicides today than they have in decades, according to the FBI. The clearance rate is the number of homicides solved in a year compared with the number of killings committed that year. A samping of percentages of U.S. homicides cleared between 1'63 and 2007: 1'63 >>>


      MORE GET AWAY WITH MURDER, DESPITE TECHNOLOGY
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     CHICAGO –– Despite the rise of DNA fingerprinting and other "CSI"–style crime–fighting wizardry, more people in this country are getting away with murder.

FBI figures show that the homicide clearance rate, as detectives call it, dropped from '1 percent in 1'63 –&n >>>


      MRS. BUSH: BUSH PRESIDENCY NOT A FAILURE
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     WASHINGTON –– First lady Laura Bush says she disagrees with critics who say her husband‘s presidency was a failure.

In an interview aired Sunday on Fox News Sunday, Mrs. Bush says she knows her husband‘s eight years in office was not a failure, and says she doesn‘t feel as if she n >>>


      MRS. BUSH: IRAQ INVASION WAS NOT A DISTRACTION
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     WASHINGTON –– First lady Laura Bush is rebuffing critics of the Bush administration who contend that the U.S. turned its military might and resources to the war in Iraq before finishing the job in Afghanistan.

In an interview aired Sunday on Fox News Sunday, Mrs. Bush says she doesn‘t think it >>>


      NAVY, ENVIRONMENTALISTS SETTLE SONAR LAWSUIT
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     HONOLULU –– The Navy has settled a lawsuit filed by environmentalists challenging its use of sonar in hundreds of submarine–hunting exercises around the world.

The Navy said Saturday the deal reached with the Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups requires it to continue to researc >>>


      NC GUARDSMAN WANTS CITIZENSHIP BEFORE DEPLOYING
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     2008; 12:01 PM HAMLET, N.C. –– When Staff Sgt. Rene Reale deploys to Iraq for the second time early next year, he‘ll risk his life fighting alongside his fellow members of the North Carolina National Guard.

But when it comes to choosing a commander–in–chief, Reale has no say. As an >>>


      NY RESIDENTS: GOOD RIDDANCE TO ‘08 BANK STATEMENTS
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     NEW YORK –– New York City residents are being invited to say goodbye to their bad memories of 2008 and the financial meltdown by shredding their worthless stock certificates and depressing bank statements.

Sunday is the second annual Good Riddance Day. Organizers of the city‘s New Year‘s >>>


      OBAMA AGAIN WORKS OUT ON MARINE BASE
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     HONOLULU –– President–elect Barack Obama has again made the trip to a Marine Corps base near his vacation home for an hourlong morning workout.

Obama and his friends from Chicago _ Eric Whitaker and Martin Nesbitt _ went to the Semper Fit gym on Marine Corps Base Hawaii‘s compound Sunday >>>


      POLAR PLUNGE FUNDRAISERS PROLIFERATE
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     PORTLAND, Maine –– The Lobster Dip was launched 21 years ago as Maine‘s first happening where people could raise money for a good cause by stripping down in the freezing winter air and running half–naked into the bone–chilling ocean.

These days, it seems as if everybody‘s tak >>>


      QUINTUPLETS BORN AT NEW YORK HOSPITAL
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     NEW YORK –– They‘re first–time parents _ five times over. A set of quintuplets was born Saturday at Staten Island University Hospital, spokesman Christian Preston said. He said the four girls, one boy and their mother were doing well.

Preston declined to give the family‘s name, but >>>


      SANTA GUNMAN LOST JOB, WIFE BEFORE GORY ATTACK
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     MONTROSE, Calif. –– Bruce and Sylvia Pardo started the new year in 2006 with all signs pointing to a bright future _ an upcoming marriage, a combined income of about $150,000, half–million–dollar home on a quiet cul–de–sac and a beloved dog, Saki.

But things quickly turned so >>>


      SCULPTOR ROBERT GRAHAM DIES AT AGE 70
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     SANTA MONICA, Calif. –– Sculptor Robert Graham, whose massive bronze works mark civic monuments across America, including the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, has died at 70.

Graham, who had been ailing, died Saturday at the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital >>>


      SILVER LINING OF SUBPRIME SLIPS AWAY IN CALIF. SUBURB
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     STOCKTON, Calif. –– Venice Circle is a loop lined with taupe homes and green lawns, a clear sign that drivers have left the freeway south of town and entered Weston Ranch, a 21st–century Levittown. The subdivision sprang up in asparagus fields 80 miles east and a world away from the urban settings buye >>>


      SKIES TO CLEAR IN MIDWEST, EASING FLOODING FEARS
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     CHICAGO –– The skies were expected to clear in the Midwest on Sunday as the residents surveyed the damage from summerlike storms that a day earlier pounded the region with hail, high winds and even funnel clouds.

Much of Illinois, Missouri and Michigan along with western Indiana remained under a flo >>>


      THE NATION‘S WEATHER
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     AM –– Snow was to fall in the Great Lakes on Sunday as a storm tracked into eastern Canada. An associated cold front was to move through the Southeast and over the Appalachians before moving into the Atlantic Ocean, bringing significant rain to the region. Precipitation was also expected in New England.
>>>


      UK‘S BROWN DEFIANT ON ECONOMY, SEES NEW U.S. ALLIANCE
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     LONDON (Reuters) – Britain‘s Gordon Brown will use his New Year address to call for a "coalition for change" with U.S. President–elect Barack Obama in a speech intended as a rallying call to Britons.

Brown, who frequently uses the comparison of the Second World war to describe the cu >>>


      FAMILIES ASK BUSH TO SEIZE LAND PARCEL FOR '/11 MEMORIAL
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     It has been more than seven years since 20–year–old Deora Bodley and 3' other passengers and crew died in the fiery crash of United Airlines Flight '3, their hijacked plane disintegrating in a grove of hemlock trees outside Shanksville, Pa.

Most of the remains from the tragedy on Sept. 11, 2 >>>


      FORCED TO PASS ON A FRONT SEAT TO HISTORY
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     By Nikita StewartWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, December 28, 2008; C01 Ella Mae Johnson will be 105 when President–elect Barack Obama is sworn in next month. And she plans to be there.

"I won‘t be able to hear him. I may not be able to see him. But I can say . . . I was there and it was a >>>


      RNC RIVALS DISCUSS RACIAL SONG
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     By Michael D. ShearWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, December 28, 2008; A05 Republicans who are vying to lead the national party offered a mix of reactions yesterday to the decision by one candidate for the job to mail out a music CD including the song "Barack the Magic Negro." Chip Saltsman defended his act >>>


      STORM KNOCKS OUT POWER TO OAHU, OBAMAS
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     By Philip RuckerWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, December 28, 2008; A03 HONOLULU, Dec. 27 –– A thunderstorm knocked out power throughout the Hawaiian island of Oahu after sunset Friday, suddenly forcing President–elect Barack Obama and his family to spend the night at their seaside vacation home in >>>


      WAY OF LIFE SLIPPING AWAY ALONG CHESAPEAKE‘S EDGE
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     By David A. FahrentholdWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, December 28,
2008; A01 The Chesapeake Bay is not tar–black and dead. It is not bright–green and toxic. It looks just as beautiful as ever, come a sunrise in Annapolis or a sunset over Tangier Sound.

What the Chesapeake has become is empt >>>


      ARAB PROTESTERS DEMAND RESPONSE TO GAZA
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     PM BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Protesters burned Israeli and U.S. flags on Sunday in a string of Arab countries and demanded a stronger response from their leaders to Israel‘s attack on Gaza.

"Arab silence is behind the bombings," read a banner held by one of several thousand people who turned out >>>


      BAGHDAD CAR BOMBING KILLS AT LEAST 22, INJURES MORE THAN 50
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     December 28, 2008; A17 BAGHDAD, Dec. 27 –– At least 22 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in a car bombing in northwestern Baghdad on Saturday afternoon in one of the deadliest attacks in the capital in weeks, Iraqi officials said.

The attack occurred at 12:15 p.m. in the predominantly Shii >>>


      CHINA SETS STRICTER SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     BEIJING –– China‘s top legislature has set stricter construction standards for schools after thousands of poorly built classrooms collapsed in May‘s massive earthquake, killing many students, state media reported.

The new law passed by the Standing Committee of the National People‘ >>>


      COLD WAR HUMANITARIAN PROGRAM HAD COVERT SIDE
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     2008; 1:22 PM BAD AROLSEN, Germany –– In the locked attic of a German archive is a dusty file that harks back to a long forgotten chapter of the Cold War _ a humanitarian endeavor that, it now emerges, also had a covert side.

Marked "Escapee Program," it contains a list of thousands of nam >>>


      GUINEA SOLDIERS SEARCH OFFICER‘S HOME FOR WEAPONS
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     AM CONAKRY, Guinea –– Soldiers loyal to Guinea‘s coup leader surrounded the residence of a high–ranking military officer loyal to the deposed regime Sunday and searched his house for weapons, raising the specter of instability in the country.

The junta that declared a coup after the deat >>>


      IN CHINA, MEDIA MAKE SMALL STRIDES
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     By Maureen FanWashington Post Foreign ServiceSunday, December 28, 2008; A16 BEIJING –– This fall, a scholarly magazine that focuses on Communist Party history pushed the envelope again.

Editors, emboldened a few years ago after writing about a rarely mentioned former top official the party had purge >>>


      IRAQ TRIES SADDAM OFFICIALS FOR CRUSHING OPPONENTS
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     BAGHDAD (Reuters) – An Iraqi court on Sunday opened a new trial against Tareq Aziz and the man known as ‘Chemical Ali,‘ right–hand men to Saddam Hussein, on charges of crushing opposition from Prime Minister Nuri al–Maliki‘s Dawa party.

Aziz, a former deputy prime minister, a >>>


      ISRAEL POUNDS GAZA FOR SECOND DAY
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     GAZA (Reuters) – Israel pounded Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip from the air on Sunday for a second day and prepared for a possible invasion of the territory after killing nearly 2'0 Palestinians in the opening rounds of a powerful offensive.

Israel said the campaign that began on Saturday was a respo >>>


      ISRAELI AIRSTRIKES ON GAZA STRIP IMPERIL OBAMA‘S PEACE CHANCES
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     By Michael AbramowitzWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, December 28, 2008; A20 Israel‘s airstrikes on Gaza yesterday, in retaliation for a nonstop barrage of rocket attacks from Hamas fighters, raised the prospect of an escalation of violence that could scuttle any hopes the incoming Obama administration harbored >>>


      ISRAELI WARPLANES PURSUE GAZA WEAPONS WAREHOUSES
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     2008; 4:14 AM GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip –– Gazans cowered in their homes Sunday as Israeli warplanes pressing one of Israel‘s deadliest assaults ever on Palestinian militants unleashed missiles on weapons warehouses, a police station, the homes of militant field commanders and dozens of other targets acros >>>


      MAN ARRESTED IN CASE OF WOMAN KEPT IN CAR TRUNK
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     PM LONDON –– Scottish police said Sunday they arrested a 35–year–old man in connection with the abduction of a nurse who was found tied up in the trunk of her car _ where she may have been held for as long as 10 days.

Magdeline Makola had been reported missing after she failed to show up >>>


      NO CLEAR WINNER IN INDIA‘S REGIONAL ELECTIONS
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     By Rama LakshmiWashington Post Foreign ServiceSunday, December 28, 2008;
1:25 PM NEW DELHI, Dec. 28 –– No clear winner emerged in elections in India‘s troubled regions of Jammu and Kashmir, according to results released Sunday, but a new coalition government led by the regional National Conference >>>


      PAKISTAN WARNED AGAINST NEGLECTING TERROR FRONT
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     ISLAMABAD, Pakistan –– Pakistan risks a rise in terrorist activity if it lets tensions with India divert its attention and troops away from battling Taliban and al–Qaida militants along the Afghan border, leading Pakistani newspapers warned Sunday.

Hours after the editorials were published a s >>>


      POLICE: 24 DEAD IN BANGLADESH ROAD ACCIDENT
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     TANGAIL, Bangladesh –– A truck loaded with iron rods veered off a road, killing 24 hitchhikers riding in the back and injuring 13 others Sunday in northern Bangladesh, a traffic police official said.

Official A.K.M. Mujibul Haque said the accident in northern Tangail district happened when the drive >>>


      POLICE: SUICIDE ATTACK NEAR AFGHAN SCHOOL KILLS 8
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     KABUL, Afghanistan –– A suicide bomber tried to attack a meeting of tribal elders and blew himself up near a primary school on Sunday, killing eight people and wounding 51, officials said. At least five schoolchildren were killed and 15 wounded.

The blast went off near the entrance to a police and a >>>


      SARAJEVANS PROTEST SANTA CLAUS BAN
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     SARAJEVO, Bosnia–Herzegovina –– Hundreds of Bosnians have protested against a recent ban on Santa Claus in the city‘s kindergartens.

The directors of Sarajevo‘s day–care centers, kindergartens and preschools banned Santa. They argued that the capital is predominantly Muslim a >>>


      SUICIDE BLAST KILLS 6, WOUNDS 36 AFGHANS: OFFICIAL
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     KHOST, Afghanistan (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed six people, including four children, and wounded 36 others in the southeastern Afghan province of Khost on Sunday, a provincial official said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, part of the worst spate of violence in Afghanistan this y >>>


      SWISS NUCLEAR SMUGGLING SUSPECT FREED FROM PRISON
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     GENEVA –– A Swiss man suspected of involvement in the world‘s biggest nuclear smuggling ring has been released from prison after more than four years of investigative detention, his family said Sunday.

Urs Tinner, 43, was freed several days ago, his mother Hedwig Tinner told The Associated Pre >>>


      THAI POLICE BRACE FOR NEW, PRO–THAKSIN PROTESTS
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     BANGKOK, Thailand –– More than 3,000 Thai police moved into position Sunday to prevent a replay of mass demonstrations that virtually paralyzed the government for months and climaxed with the eight–day seizure of the capital‘s airports, local media said.

This time, it was supporters of e >>>


      U.N. MULLS REENGAGING BURMA WITH MORE AID
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     By Colum Lynch and Michael AbramowitzWashington Post Staff WritersSunday, December 28, 2008; A16 UNITED NATIONS –– International sanctions and Laura Bush‘s personal intervention did not make Burma‘s generals ease their political oppression. Neither did quiet diplomacy, nor the devastation of a cy >>>


      UK‘S BROWN DEFIANT ON ECONOMY, SEES NEW U.S. ALLIANCE
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     LONDON (Reuters) – Britain‘s Gordon Brown will use his New Year address to call for a "coalition for change" with U.S. President–elect Barack Obama in a speech intended as a rallying call to Britons.

Brown, who frequently uses the comparison of the Second World war to describe the cu >>>


      UK POLICE: ABOUT 700 PROTEST AT ISRAELI EMBASSY
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     LONDON –– Police say an estimated 700 demonstrators are protesting outside the Israeli Embassy in London against Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

The Metropolitan Police said three people have been arrested so far in connection with the protest Sunday near the embassy in London‘s Kensing >>>


      VOTING STARTS IN GHANA‘S PRESIDENTIAL RUNOFF
      Washington Post, 28-12-2008
     ACCRA, Ghana –– Ghanaians returned to the polls Sunday for a presidential runoff vote in an election expected to further solidify the country‘s status as one of Africa‘s few stable democracies.

Nana Akufo–Addo of the ruling party is facing opposition candidate John Atta Mills, whos >>>


      BUSINESS IN BRIEF
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     Real Estate Joy of Giving Travel Week‘s End Anglo File Business in Brief Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Eli Yishai, signed emergency regulations yesterday evening enabling local authorities, the Israel Electric Corporation and private factories defined as essential industries, such as bakeries, to require >>>


      GEOCARTOGRAPHY: HOUSING PRICES TO FALL AT LEAST 15% IN 200'
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Arik Mirovsky Tags: israel news The thick fog covering the Israel real estate market is starting to lift, and is revealing a steep drop in demand that will lead to a drop in prices, so says Dr. Rina Degani, the managing director of consulting firm Geocartography.

She estimates that January 200' demand wi >>>


      STRAUSS MOVING ALL ITS AD CAMPAIGNS FROM TELEVISION TO INTERNET AND PRINTED PRESS
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Adi Dovrat Tags: israel news, strauss Propelled by the mounting financial crisis, the Strauss Group has decided to shift its advertising drives away from television, to the Internet and printed press. It‘s the first time in years that the food company has changed its "media mix." "People change t >>>


      TREASURY: NO INCREASE IN DEFENSE SPENDING FOR THE GAZA OPERATION
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     Jewish World Opinion National Print Edition Car Rental Books Haaretz Magazine Business Real Estate Joy of Giving Travel Week‘s End Anglo File Treasury: No increase in defense spending for the Gaza operation By Moti Bassok, Sarit Menahem, Yoram Gabison and Tal Levy Tags: hamas, israel news, treasury It is still muc >>>


      WANT TO SUBDIVIDE AN APARTMENT? THEN YOU‘LL NEED A BUILDING PERMIT
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Shay Amit Tags: israel news In neighborhoods where demand for rental apartments outstrips supply, not a few homeowners have subdivided apartments into separate units. The purpose is to increase returns on their investment. The thing is that until recently, local authorities turned a blind eye to this phenomenon &ndas >>>


      DEFINE THE OBJECTIVES IN GAZA
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Haaretz Editorial Tags: gaza strike, israeli invasion The government launched a military campaign in Gaza yesterday. In the first wave of aerial assaults, more than 200 Palestinians were killed and Hamas‘ retaliatory fire killed one Israeli civilian from Netivot. Hundreds were wounded on the Palestinian side, a >>>


      DELUSIONS OF VICTORY IN GAZA
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Zvi Barel Tags: israel news, gaza strike As of yesterday, politicians and the public at large have been enthralled by a new prospect: that of a wide–scale military operation in the Gaza Strip. Such a prospect answers all their heart‘s secret wishes: Avenging the rocket fire by Gazan militants, reclaiming >>>


      IRANIAN SANTA
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Yoav Sivan Tags: Admittedly, me being Israeli and gay does not increase my likelihood of wanting to hear a Christmas greeting by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

While I do not know who he hates more – gays or Israelis – I happen to belong to both groups. So there‘s very little doubt >>>


      NETANYAHU? BELIEVE HIM
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Avirama Golan Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, elections Benjamin Netanyahu was not the only politician to pose for pictures beside the destroyed wall of a house struck by a Qassam this week in Sderot, but he took advantage of the situation better than any of the others.

Not only was the countenance of the Likud le >>>


      THE NEIGHBORHOOD BULLY STRIKES AGAIN
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Gideon Levy Tags: gaza strike, israel news Israel embarked yesterday on yet another unnecessary, ill–fated war. On July 16, 2006, four days after the start of the Second Lebanon War, I wrote: "Every neighborhood has one, a loud–mouthed bully who shouldn‘t be provoked into anger... Not that the >>>


      3 SENIOR HAMAS OFFICERS AMONG 230 KILLED DURING IAF STRIKES IN GAZA
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Yoav Stern Tags: israel news, hamas, gaza The 230 Palestinians killed in the Israeli air raid on Gaza Saturday included three senior officers: Tawfik Jabber, the commander of Hamas‘ police force in Gaza; his adjutant, Ismail al–Ja‘abri, commander of the defense and security directorate; and Abu&ndas >>>


      ANALYSIS / LET‘S HOPE THIS TIME WE‘LL KNOW WHEN TO STOP
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Yossi Sarid Tags: gaza strike, hamas The other shoe dropped Saturday with full force, as if Hamas had asked for the shoe to be sent its way. Now we need to start thinking about the end game, an end which will not be cut and dry as we would like. In wars, the beginnings are usually the easy part, and only later do the >>>


      ANALYSIS / WITH GAZA RAID, BARAK IS BACK IN THE POLITICAL RING
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Yossi Verter, Haaretz Correspondent Tags: elections, gaza raid Two months after Ehud Olmert was elected as Israel‘s prime minister, the Second Lebanon War broke out. Two months before Olmert departs, the military campaign in the south breaks out.

But Olmert isn‘t the story here; he‘s on his >>>


      FOREIGN MIN. STARTS MASSIVE PR MOVE TO RAISE INT‘L SUPPORT
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Barak Ravid The Foreign Ministry yesterday began a broad range of public relations initiatives in order to boost international legitimacy for the Israel Air Force‘s operations in the Gaza Strip.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called several of her counterparts around the world, including Secretary of Sta >>>


      FOREIGN PRESS CAUGHT OFF GUARD
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Gili Izikovich Operation found many foreign reporters home for holidays Yesterday‘s military operation in the Gaza Strip has caught off guard foreign media correspondents covering the area. A significant portion of them are still in their home countries enjoying the traditional one–week vacation between C >>>


      GAZA OFFENSIVE CLOUDS CHANCES FOR SHALIT DEAL
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Amos Harel Tags: gilad shalit, gaza, idf The start of Israel‘s offensive in Gaza illustrates why the Israel Defense Forces chief, General Gabi Ashkenazi, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak strongly recommended trying to reach an agreement that would bring about the release of abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit from >>>


      HOW ISRAEL DECLARES WAR / OUR POLS‘ FUTURE
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Aluf Benn This is what an Israeli–style declaration of war looks like. The "senior political leadership" triumvirate – Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni – huddle together with journalists and camera crews in the Defense Ministry‘ >>>


      IAF STRIKE FOLLOWED MONTHS OF PLANNING
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Barak Ravid Gathering intelligence, disinformation played key role in strike at Hamas in Gaza Long–term planning, meticulous intelligence–gathering, secret discussions, visual deception tactics and disinformation preceded operation "Cast Lead" which the Israel Air Force launched yesterday in Gaz >>>


      IDF SOUTHERN COMMANDER: OPERATION WILL SEND GAZA BACK DECADES
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Uri Blau Tags: hamas, israel news In attacking Hamas‘ regime in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces will try to "send Gaza decades into the past" in terms of weapon capabilities while achieving "the maximum number of enemy casualties and keeping Israel Defense Forces casualties at a minimum >>>


      IDF SURPRISES HAMAS WITH LARGEST GAZA OPERATION SINCE 1'67; AT LEAST 225 KILLED
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff Israel launched a massive aerial offensive yesterday morning against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. At least 225 Palestinians were killed, most of them Hamas operatives, and 750 wounded.

A 58–year–old Israeli, Bebert Vaknin of Netivot, was killed in a direct strik >>>


      IN SDEROT, HANUKKAH CANDLES BANISH DARKNESS – BUT NOT FEAR
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Avirama Golan Tags: hanukkah, israel news, sderot SDEROT – First came the fear: Houses in Sderot shook as Israel Air Force planes flew overhead toward Gaza. Residents complained about the shock waves and children frightened by the loud noises of explosions from the IAF‘s targets in Gaza – far louder >>>


      MOST HAMAS BASES DESTROYED IN 4 MINUTES
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Amos Harel Preparations nearly two years in the making were put into action yesterday as a two–wave offensive of 88 Israel Air Force fighter jets and helicopters delivered over 100 tons of explosives to approximately 100 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Planning for the operation began in early 2007, b >>>


      NEWS IN BRIEF
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     Some 1,000 people marched in Tel Aviv last night to protest the military offensive in the Gaza Strip. The demonstrators, including leftist and human rights activists, walked from the Cinematheque theater on Carlebach Street to the Defense Ministry. Police on horseback accompanied the protesters, one of whom became caugh >>>


      OP TESTS HOME FRONT FOR FIRST TIME SINCE LEBANON WAR
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Nir Hasson Yesterday was the first time that the National Emergency Authority was tested in real time.

The authority was formed as part of the efforts to improve services to the home front, which had proved a weak spot during the Second Lebanon War.

Advertisement The authority, headed by Deputy Defe >>>


      ROCKET KILLS NETIVOT MAN, SIX WOUNDED
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Yanir Yagna and Noah Kosharek Palestinian militants yesterday fired over 64 rockets at Israel, killing one civilian and wounding six others, following Israel‘s launching a large–scale aerial offensive in the Gaza Strip earlier in the day.

Bebert Vaknin, 58, was killed and four others wounded &nda >>>


      SHADOW OF LEBANON / SHOCK AND AWE
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Amos Harel The First Gaza War, which began yesterday, is being waged under the heavy shadow of the Second Lebanon War. If the first days of that war were characterized by bragging and the use of relatively little force, this time Israel is trying the opposite: Its goals are quite modest, and the strength, considering >>>


      THE LEGAL SIDE / DELIBERATELY TIMED
      Haaretz, 28-12-2008
     By Ze‘ev Segal Defense Minister Ehud Barak‘s authority to declare a "special state of emergency on the home front" is defined in the Civil Defense Law. The legislative branch places the main authority over whether to declare a special state of emergency with the government but permits the defense m >>>



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