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      2 MAJOR WASH. PASSES CLOSED BY SNOW; 1 REOPENS
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     SEATTLE –– Falling snow and a high threat of avalanches prompted officials to close three main east–west mountain passes in Washington state on New Year‘s Day and at least two of the highways were expected to remain shut down into Friday.

Another storm was expected to dump as much as 18 >>>


      ' FIREFIGHTERS HURT BATTLING OHIO BLAZE
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     CANTON, Ohio –– Authorities in Ohio say nine firefighters have been injured while battling a fire that spread through three houses in the city of Canton.

Acting Battalion chief Chuck Goldy says six of the firefighters had to be taken to a hospital but none was believed to have serious injuries.
>>>


      AP NEWSALERT
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     NEW YORK –– Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is AP‘s NFL Most Valuable Player
>>>


      BOMBS PLANTED IN ASPEN; SUSPECT FOUND DEAD
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     ASPEN, Colo., Jan. 1 –– A former resident of this city who had been bitter over its transformation into a playground for the rich left four gift–wrapped bombs downtown in a bank–robbery attempt, turning New Year‘s Eve celebrations into a mass evacuation, police said Thursday.

The b >>>


      BOY HURT IN DC FIRE THAT KILLED 5 CLINGS TO LIFE
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     WASHINGTON –– Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty says an 11–year–old boy critically injured in a fire that killed five people New Year‘s Day is clinging to life.

The electrical fire began in the basement ceiling and raced through the two–story home in northeast Washington. >>>


      CASH–POOR STATES EAGER FOR A PIECE OF OBAMA PLAN
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     NEW YORK –– President–elect Barack Obama‘s plan to jolt the economy by overhauling the nation‘s roads, bridges and transit systems has local officials clamoring for their share despite questions as to whether the program will actually work.

"California‘s fiscal house is >>>


      CLAIBORNE PELL, SENATOR BEHIND COLLEGE GRANTS, DIES
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Claiborne Pell, an aristocratic Rhode Islander who spent 36 years in the U.S. Senate and was best known for championing better education for the poor, died Thursday, the Providence Journal reported.

Pell, who was '0, served as a Democratic senator from Rhode Island from 1'61 >>>


      EX–RESIDENT THREATENED ‘MASS DEATH‘ IN RITZY ASPEN
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     ASPEN, Colo. –– A one–time resident of this city who had been bitter over its transformation into a playground for the rich left four gift–wrapped bombs downtown in a bank–robbery attempt, turning New Year‘s Eve celebrations into a mass evacuation, police said Thursday.

The d >>>


      FAA: 2 DEAD IN FIERY PLANE CRASH AT ILL. AIRPORT
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     JOLIET, Ill. –– Two passengers died late Thursday when an airplane crashed at Joliet Regional Airport, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.

"We understand that an aircraft fatality did occur at Joliet, with two fatalities and an aircraft that burned," FAA spokeswoman >>>


      GEMS POINT TO COMET AS ANSWER TO ANCIENT RIDDLE
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     Something dramatic happened about 12,'00 years ago, and the continent of North America was never the same. A thriving culture of Paleo–Americans, known as the Clovis people, vanished seemingly overnight. Gone, too, were most of the largest animals: horses, camels, lions, mammoths, mastodons, saber–toothe >>>


      INSURANCE PROGRAM WOULD BE USED SPARINGLY
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     WASHINGTON –– The Bush administration says a new program that provides government backing for a financial institution‘s potential losses from risky assets will be used sparingly.

Guidelines for the insurance program, required by Congress as part of the $700 billion financial bailout package en >>>


      LAWSUIT: ACCUSED GA. KILLER IS WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     ATLANTA –– A Georgia man charged with killing a woman has been without an attorney for eight months, according to a lawsuit claiming the state‘s public defender system has failed to adequately represent him.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Jamie Ryan Weis underscores budget problems at the Geor >>>


      MAN TRIES TO DETER DRUNK DRIVING WITH PAINTBALLS
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     KENNEWICK, Wash. –– A man in Washington state who reportedly told police he was trying to deter a friend from driving drunk by blasting the friend‘s windshield with paintballs wound up in jail.

Kennewick, Wash., police Sgt. Ken Lattin calls it a "very creative" way to prevent someone >>>


      MANUFACTURING FALLS TO 28–YEAR LOW
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     11:53 AM U.S. manufacturing fell sharply in December and reports from abroad showed the same for plants in Europe and Asia, as businesses cut production and slashed product orders in response to the global recession.

The Institute for Supply Management‘s index of industrial production slipped by 3.8 perce >>>


      MORE COLLEGES EXPECTED TO OFFER ONLINE INTERVIEWS
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     RALEIGH, N.C. –– For her college interview, Avery Cullinan put on her best outfit but didn‘t bother with shoes. She sat in her living room, smiled into her computer‘s webcam and told an admissions officer more than 800 miles away that Wake Forest University was right for her.

"It&ls >>>


      MUSLIM PASSENGERS REMOVED FROM DC FLIGHT
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     WASHINGTON –– AirTran Airlines says nine Muslim passengers were removed from a flight from Washington, D.C., to Florida after other passengers reported hearing a suspicious remark.

An AirTran spokesman says the it was a misunderstanding. The Muslim passengers say AirTran wouldn‘t rebook them T >>>


      NEW IGNITION LOCK LAWS AIM TO FOIL DRUNK DRIVERS
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     CHICAGO –– Motorists convicted of driving drunk will have to install breath–monitoring gadgets in their cars under new laws taking effect in six states this week.

The ignition interlocks prevent engines from starting until drivers blow into the alcohol detectors to prove they‘re sober.>>>


      NEW LAWS IN 5 STATES CALL FOR FIRE–SAFE CIGARETTES
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     FORT WORTH, Texas –– Laws mandating stores only sell cigarettes that are slow–burning and fire–safe went into effect in five states on New Year‘s Day.

Delaware, Iowa, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas on Thursday joined 17 other states in mandating the fire–safe cigarettes. Fi >>>


      OBAMA HEADS HOME AFTER VACATION IN HAWAII
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     KAILUA, Hawaii –– President–elect Barack Obama on Thursday bid his native Hawaii "aloha" after a 12–day vacation.

Obama, wife Michelle and their two young daughters flew to Chicago where they are expected to arrive early Friday.

The Obamas planned to go on to Washingto >>>


      OBAMA TO MEET WITH LAWMAKERS, FORMER PRESIDENTS
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     CHICAGO –– President–elect Barack Obama will meet with congressional leaders to discuss his economic stimulus plan and other legislative issues soon after his arrival in Washington in the coming days.

Obama and his family planned to fly to Washington on Sunday after their holiday vacation in H >>>


      OBAMA WRAPS UP HIS HAWAIIAN VACATION
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     KAILUA, Hawaii, Jan. 1 –– President–elect Barack Obama bid adieu to his native Hawaii on Thursday, wrapping up his 13–day pre–inaugural vacation with a morning workout before returning home to Chicago.

Obama is scheduled to arrive in Chicago early Friday morning and will spend just >>>


      PORTLAND: LARGEST US CITY WITH OPENLY GAY MAYOR
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     PORTLAND, Ore. –– Portland became the nation‘s largest city with an openly gay mayor Thursday as a longtime City Hall insider took the oath of office.

Sam Adams, 45, was sworn into office at 12:01 a.m. New Year‘s Day at City Hall during a ceremony attended by a crowd of about 40 that inc >>>


      PR. WILLIAM‘S MOTHERS OF DISSENSION
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     The months–long battle over Prince William County‘s crackdown on illegal immigration has largely subsided, but not before giving rise to a potent new force in local politics: stay–at–home moms.

About a dozen mothers who banded together to battle the county‘s hard–line positio >>>


      RI POLICE INVESTIGATE SMALL EXPLOSION AT STARBUCKS
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     PROVIDENCE, R.I. –– Police in Providence, R.I., are investigating a small explosion that forced the evacuation of a Starbucks coffee shop.

Authorities at the scene told WJAR–TV that they think the explosion late New Year‘s Day was caused by a homemade bomb.

About 25 people were >>>


      RICE VOWS HARD WORK ON ARRANGING GAZA CEASE–FIRE
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     WASHINGTON –– Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday said the United States and key world allies were pushing hard for a "durable and sustainable" cease–fire in Gaza, but there was no end in sight to the violence. The top U.S. diplomat said she was not planning an emergency visit to th >>>


      RITTER TO NOMINATE BENNET TO FILL SENATE VACANCY
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     DENVER –– Gov. Bill Ritter is expected to name Denver Public Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet to fill a Senate vacancy that will be created by the promotion of Sen. Ken Salazar to Interior secretary in the Obama administration, sources told The Associated Press.

One source close to the governor >>>


      SUICIDES IN NATIONAL PARKS INCREASE IN 2008
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     SALT LAKE CITY –– Freshly unemployed, former business executive Bruce J. Colburn flew to the far northwest corner of Montana in search of a place to die.

In early October, he paid a hotel clerk to drive him into Glacier National Park. He spent the night in a campground and then made his way on foot >>>


      THOUSANDS OF SHOES TIE UP MIAMI FREEWAY TRAFFIC
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     MIAMI –– State troopers are looking for a charity to take thousands of shoes that were dumped on a Miami expressway, tying up rush hour traffic.

Lt. Pat Santangelo says the Florida Highway Patrol received a call about the shoes Friday morning.

Santangelo says he‘s not sure where the s >>>


      US PARENTS WANT ANSWERS AFTER CHINA MILK SCARE
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     –– Beth Flanders was on her way to China to adopt her 17–month–old daughter in September when she received a warning from her adoption agency: An industrial chemical that can cause kidney stones had been found in Chinese baby formula, and parents should not feed it to their new children.

>>>


      AN INAUGURAL BALL FOR THE MILITARY
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     HONOLULU, Jan. 1 –– President–elect Barack Obama will have a Commander in Chief‘s Ball during his inauguration with military personnel, their spouses and those wounded fighting in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as guests.

In announcing this on Thursday, officials said tickets for the J >>>


      CONSUMER GROUP AIMS TO LOWER TV COSTS
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     By Kim HartWashington Post Staff WriterFriday, January 2, 200'; E07 A consumer advocacy group plans to file a petition today with the Federal Communications Commission in a bid to reduce the costs of digital TV sets.

The petition asks the FCC to revise its rules for digital television patent licenses, argui >>>


      END OF THE YEAR BRINGS A BURST OF SETTLEMENTS WITH JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     The Justice Department has reached more than a dozen business–related settlements since the presidential election, with more in the pipeline for January, prompting lawyers and interest groups to assert that companies are seeking more favorable terms before the new administration arrives.

The climate for b >>>


      FORMER R.I. SENATOR CLAIBORNE PELL, '0; SPONSORED GRANT PROGRAM
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     Claiborne Pell, '0, a six–term Rhode Island Democrat who rose to be chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, died Jan. 1 at his Newport, R.I., home. He had had Parkinson‘s disease since 1''4.

A Yankee Brahmin and former Foreign Service officer who was virtually unbeatable at t >>>


      HAWAII‘S STILL WATERS RUN DEEP FOR THE PRESIDENT–ELECT
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     HONOLULU –– In his two weeks in Hawaii, Barack Obama has oozed island cool: the black shades and khaki shorts, the breezy sandaled saunter that suggested he had not a care in the world. Who said anything about the presidency?

He strolled shirtless near the beach, enjoyed a shave ice and a local seaw >>>


      OBAMA‘S TEAM RANKLES THE RIGHT
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     By Carol D. LeonnigWashington Post Staff WriterFriday, January 2, 200'; A13 To some staunch conservatives watching President Bush relinquish the reins of power to President–elect Barack Obama, a few too many ardent liberals are now crashing the gates.

Some well–known Democratic activists are adv >>>


      OBAMA WRAPS UP HIS HAWAIIAN VACATION
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     AM KAILUA, Hawaii, Jan. 1 –– President–elect Barack Obama bade adieu to his native Hawaii on Thursday, wrapping up his 13–day pre–inaugural vacation with a morning workout before returning home to Chicago.

[Obama arrived in the Windy City early Friday, the Associated Press reported >>>


      POWERFUL NY LAWMAKER SAYS HE‘LL SUPPORT KENNEDY
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     ALBANY, N.Y. –– Despite early reservations, New York state‘s most powerful legislative leader now says he‘ll support Caroline Kennedy for the U.S.

Senate if the governor names her to the seat expected to be vacated by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon S >>>


      TWO ADVISERS REFLECT ON EIGHT YEARS WITH BUSH
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     A01 White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten and national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley remember conferring with President Bush during the darkest days of the Iraq war, in 2005 and 2006, when violence was out of control.

In daily 7 a.m. meetings in the Oval Office, Bush reviewed "blue sheets" >>>


      2 SRI LANKANS EXECUTED IN SAUDI ARABIA
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     RIYADH, Saudi Arabia –– Authorities in Saudi Arabia have beheaded two Sri Lankans convicted of robbing and killing a Sudanese man.

An Interior Ministry statement says the two approached Mohmed Abdul Rahman as he left his office in Riyadh, walked him to his car where they shot the accountant and stol >>>


      3 MILITANTS KILLED IN US STRIKE IN PAKISTAN
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan –– A suspected U.S. missile strike killed three Pakistan militants close to the Afghan border Friday, officials and witnesses said, the latest in a barrage of such attacks in the al–Qaida and Taliban stronghold.

Stepped–up strikes by U.S. unmanned planes since >>>


      AUSTRALIA ASKED TO RESETTLE GITMO DETAINEES
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     CANBERRA, Australia –– Australia confirmed Friday that the U.S. has asked it to consider accepting detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp for terror suspects, and the acting prime minister said they would do so on a case by case basis.

Julia Gillard, who is filling in for Prime Minister Ke >>>


      BACKGROUND ON 25–YEAR CONFLICT IN SRI LANKA
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     AM –– Key facts about Sri Lanka, where the government and Tamil Tiger separatists have been fighting for 25 years: ___ GEOGRAPHY: A tropical island off India‘s southern tip. Capital is Colombo.

Plantations of coconut, rubber, tea, cinnamon and other spices, with large sparsely inhabited areas >>>


      BRITISH COUPLE HAS ‘BLACK–AND–WHITE TWINS‘ TWICE
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     LONDON –– A mixed–race British couple has defied the odds _ twice _ by producing two sets of twins in which one sibling appears to be black and the other white.

Dean Durrant‘s newborn daughter Miya has dark skin like him. Twin sister Leah has fair skin like her blue–eyed, red&ndash >>>


      CAPTURED ISRAELI SOLDIER‘S FATE BECOMES MURKY
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     JERUSALEM –– The fate of an Israeli army sergeant captured by Hamas and being held in Gaza has become murkier with the massive Israeli assault on the Palestinian territory.

Gilad Schalit, 22, was captured in June 2006 in a deadly cross–border raid by Hamas–allied militants on an outpost >>>


      CHINESE MIGRANTS RETURN TO RURAL ROOTS
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     By Lauren KeaneWashington Post Foreign ServiceFriday, January 2, 200'; A08 WANZHOU, China –– By the time their train pulled into its final station, Deng Hongshu and his teenage son had been standing in a packed aisle, shoulder to shoulder, for 38 hours. Like many of their fellow migrant laborers on Train >>>


      CUBANS MARK HALF–CENTURY OF REVOLUTION
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     By William BoothWashington Post Foreign ServiceFriday, January 2, 200'; A08 SANTIAGO, Cuba, Jan. 1 –– President Raúl Castro and the Cuban government celebrated the 50th anniversary of their revolution Thursday night in a nostalgic but low–key event that was far removed from the triumphant disp >>>


      ETHIOPIAN TROOPS BEGINS WITHDRAWAL FROM SOMALIA
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     PM MOGADISHU, Somalia –– Hundreds of Ethiopian soldiers were pulling out of the Somali capital on Friday, witnesses said _ amid fears the troops‘ departure will allow Islamic insurgents to take even more control of the lawless country.

Ethiopia has been propping up Somalia‘s weak governm >>>


      EUROPE‘S GAS FLOWING DAY AFTER MOSCOW CUTS OFF KIEV
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     AM MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) – Russian gas kept flowing to European Union states on Friday, a day after Moscow cut off flows to Ukraine in a contract dispute, but importers across the continent were watching for signs their supplies were faltering.

The European Union‘s Czech presidency said it considere >>>


      FRANCE HANDS PIRATES TO SOMALIA, MORE ATTACKS FOILED
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     BOSASSO, Somalia (Reuters) – French forces handed over eight pirates to Somali authorities Friday and a new get–tough approach by foreign navies thwarted more attacks in vital shipping lanes linking Europe to Asia.

Rampant piracy off Somalia‘s coast has alarmed nations around the world worried >>>


      GAZANS WITH FOREIGN PASSPORTS FLEE BLOODSHED
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     EREZ CROSSING, Israel –– Israel allowed nearly 300 Palestinians with foreign passports to leave besieged Gaza Friday after pleas from other governments to let them go.

The Gazans were notified Thursday by foreign consulates that they were being evacuated, though some stayed behind. Those who left cr >>>


      GHANA LEADER URGES CALM AMID PRESIDENTIAL REVOTE
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     12:57 PM NSAWKAW, Ghana –– Ghana‘s leader appealed for calm and urged his people to accept the results of a tight presidential election as voters in a single district cast ballots Friday that could decide the West African nation‘s next president.

The ruling party candidate, however, said >>>


      GHANA PRESIDENTIAL REVOTE DUE IN SOLE DISTRICT
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     2:55 AM TAIN, Ghana –– Residents of a single district that could decide the outcome of Ghana‘s presidential election cast their ballots on Friday, despite attempts by the ruling party to stop the vote.

Voters in the tiny western district of Tain were unable to vote in Sunday‘s tight nati >>>


      IN IRAQ, THE DAY AFTER
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     By Anthony ShadidWashington Post Foreign ServiceFriday, January 2, 200'; A01 BAGHDAD Maybe it was the only shot heard for days in a neighborhood once ordered by the cadence of gunfire. Perhaps it was the smiles at checkpoints and the shouts of Iraqi policemen navigating the always snarled traffic.

"God >>>


      INDIA SAYS PAKISTAN ATTITUDE UNCHANGED ON MILITANTS
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India‘s defense minister said on Friday Pakistan was still failing to crack down on militants blamed for the Mumbai attacks, and that New Delhi had not deployed troops despite tension with its neighbor.

India has been mobilizing support across the world to press Pakistan to cra >>>


      IRAQ SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 23 AT TRIBAL MEAL
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed at least 23 people on Friday at a gathering of Sunni Arab tribal leaders for a lunch in a town south of Baghdad, Iraqi security spokesman Major–General Qassim Moussawi said.

Friday‘s bombing took place a day after the United States presence in Iraq o >>>


      ISRAEL ALLOWS PALESTINIANS TO FLEE GAZA FIGHTING
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     EREZ CROSSING, Israel –– Israeli officials say they are allowing dozens of Palestinian holders of foreign passports to flee the fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Army spokesman Peter Lerner says nearly 300 Palestinians are pouring through the Israeli–controlled Erez crossing Friday morning.

>>>


      ISRAEL DESTROYS HAMAS HOMES, FLATTENS GAZA MOSQUE
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     2, 200'; 5:05 AM GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip –– Israel destroyed the homes of more than a dozen Hamas operatives and bombed one of its mosques on Friday, the seventh day of a blistering offensive in Gaza and the day after a deadly strike killed a prominent Hamas figure.

In what appeared to be a new Is >>>


      ISRAEL KEEPS UP AIR ASSAULTS ON GAZA
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli warplanes struck targets in Gaza on Friday and Islamist fighters fired rockets into the Israeli port of Ashkelon, dashing international hopes of a ceasefire to end seven days of fighting.

The Israeli air force bombed around 20 targets, killing two Palestinians in a house, and rais >>>


      ISRAEL LAUNCHES FRESH ATTACKS IN SEVENTH DAY OF FIGHTING
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     By Griff WitteWashington Post Foreign ServiceFriday, January 2, 200';
7:40 AM JERUSALEM, Jan. 2 –– Israel bombed a mosque and the homes of at least half a dozen Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip on Friday and allowed foreign passport holders to leave the ravaged territory, as speculation rose that a gr >>>


      NEW ADMINISTRATION INSPIRES HOPE FOR FULL ACCESS TO STATUE
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     A13 NEW YORK –– For more than a hundred years, generations of New Yorkers, as well as tourists to the city, have made the trek up the spiral staircase to the crown of the Statue of Liberty, to peer through the small windows at the unparalleled view of New York Harbor.

But that iconic experience ende >>>


      NEW PUERTO RICO GOV FACES SOARING CRIME, DEFICIT
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –– Puerto Rico‘s new governor takes office Friday, inheriting an island government that is battling a recession, a soaring murder rate and a deficit of more than $1 billion.

Luis Fortuno, who defeated an incumbent tainted by federal corruption charges in November, is taki >>>


      NORTH KOREA‘S KIM GREETS SOLDIERS FOR NEW YEAR: AGENCY
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     LONDON (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong–il has inspected a tank division and wished its soldiers a happy new year, state media said on Friday, days after news of his first major public outing since a suspected stroke in August.

Kim, supreme commander of the Korean People‘s Army among o >>>


      ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER, WOUNDED BODIES AND MINDS
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     By Sudarsan Raghavan and Reyham Abdel KareemWashington Post Foreign ServiceFriday, January 2, 200'; A10 BEERSHEBA, Israel, Jan. 1 –– It was 10 a.m. at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, and Jabber Howez feared telling the truth.

Since Saturday, he had lied to his 23–year–old sister, Mirvat >>>


      PARENTS OF CHINA MILK SCANDAL VICTIMS DETAINED
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     BEIJING (Reuters) – A group of parents whose children fell ill from drinking tainted Chinese milk have been detained by police apparently trying to block them from holding a news conference, one of the fathers said on Friday.

At least six children have died from kidney stones and more than 2'0,000 bee >>>


      PICASSO, MATISSE PRINTS STOLEN FROM BERLIN GALLERY
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     BERLIN –– Thieves stole works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and others from a Berlin gallery over the New Year‘s holiday, police said Friday.

More than 30 works _ worth an estimated euro180,000 ($250,000) _ were stolen, apparently between Wednesday afternoon and lunchtime Thursday, police sp >>>


      POLICE PROBE NIGHTCLUB FIRE TRAGEDY
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     BANGKOK, Thailand –– Grieving families prayed for the spirits of their loved ones Friday while police probed for the cause of a fire that ravaged a Bangkok nightclub, killing about 60 New Year‘s Eve partygoers.

Interior minister Chavarat Charnvirakul said that the blaze could further damage th >>>


      SRI LANKA SAYS TROOPS HAVE CAPTURED REBEL CAPITAL
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     COLOMBO, Sri Lanka –– Government forces captured the Tamil Tigers‘ de facto capital in northern Sri Lanka on Friday, dealing a devastating blow to the rebels‘ quarter–century fight for an independent state, the president said.

But in a sign the rebels retained their ability to stri >>>


      SUICIDE BOMBING SHATTERS RELATIVE CALM IN IRAQ
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     January 2, 200'; 1:05 PM BAGHDAD, Jan. 2 –– A suicide bomber sneaked through the back door of a crowded hall where guests had gathered for a reconciliation lunch at the invitation of a tribal sheik Friday and detonated explosives, killing at least 23 people and wounding dozens more in the worst attack in >>>


      SUSPECTED U.S. DRONE ATTACK KILLS THREE IN PAKISTAN
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – A suspected U.S. drone fired two missiles on Friday in Pakistan‘s South Waziristan region killing at least three people in an area known as a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud.

U.S. forces in Afghanistan, frustrated by a spreading Taliban insur >>>


      SUSPECTED U.S. DRONE FIRES MISSILES IN PAKISTAN
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – A suspected U.S. drone fired two missiles on Friday in Pakistan‘s South Waziristan region on the Afghan border, but there was no word on casualties, a Pakistani intelligence source and a resident said.

"Two missiles have been fired in Maidan Narai but we don&lsquo >>>


      TIMELINE OF THE VIOLENCE IN SRI LANKA
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     AM –– Major developments in Sri Lanka‘s conflict: _ 1'75: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam group forms. The group demands a separate state for minority ethnic Tamils in the island‘s north and east.

_ 1'83: Civil war begins. _ 1''1: Tamil Tiger suicide bomber assassinates >>>


      WORLD‘S OLDEST WOMAN DIES IN PORTUGAL AGED 115
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     LISBON, Portugal –– A woman who lived to see five of her great–great grandchildren born and was believed to have been the world‘s oldest person living, has died in northwest Portugal at the age of 115, officials said Friday.

Maria de Jesus, who was born September 10, 18'3 and was lis >>>


      ZIMBABWE JUDGE KEEPS ACTIVISTS IN CUSTODY
      Washington Post, 02-01-2009
     HARARE, Zimbabwe –– A Zimbabwean judge has ruled that a respected human rights campaigner and 31 other activists accused of plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe should remain in custody.

Opposition leaders say the detention of Zimbabwe Peace Project leader Jestina Mukoko is part of Mugabe&l >>>


      ASHDOD PORT CRIES CRONY AT AUDITOR‘S APPOINTMENT
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Avi Bar–Eli Tags: Ashdod Port, Israel News Top people at Ashdod Port are upset at what they feel is a political appointment of Barzily & Co as accountants, although the firm was approved by the manager of the Government Companies Authority, Udi Nissan.

Barzily & Co have served as Prime Minister >>>


      BOTTOM SHEKEL / KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED THAT NO ROCKETS LAND IN TEL AVIV
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Meirav Arlosoroff Tags: Israel News NIS 3.5 billion – that‘s the amount of reparations that the state paid to employees and businesses in the north after the Second Lebanon War.

In hindsight, some would say that it was the best NIS 3.5 billion the state ever spent. The money helped the residents >>>


      BUSINESS IN BRIEF
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     Real Estate Joy of Giving Travel Week‘s End Anglo File Business in Brief The controlling shareholders of the bankrupt construction company Nidar accuse Bank Leumi of hard–heartedness. "The extreme severity of the bank‘s conduct regarding the handling of their accounts and those of the company have >>>


      LEVIEV ATTEMPTING TO SHED APTHORP BUILDING
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Raz Smolsky Tags: Apthorp, Israel News Continuing its quest for liquidity as troubled times continue, Africa Israel has placed the Apthorp Building on the sales block.

According to Web site The Real Deal, last week Africa Israel owner Lev Leviev motioned a New York court to rule him the sole owner of the Apt >>>


      MARKETS IN BRIEF
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     Clal Finance stock skyrocketed yesterday, rising 72% on rumors that its parent company IDB means to repurchase the company‘s stock from the public and delist it. Not so, says IDB firmly. The rumor evidently started the day before – on Wednesday Clal Finance shares gained 3'%. The surge in its share price >>>


      SEVEN THINGS THAT WON‘T HAPPEN
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Ami Ginsburg Tags: Israel News The year 200' may well not be fun. As of December 31, all the signs were that it won‘t be, anyway. But if there‘s one thing 2008 taught us, it‘s to be prepared for the unexpected. Last year the unexpected was chiefly bad things. But here is a list of seven things t >>>


      SUPER–SOL SUSPECTED OF BULLYING SUPPLIERS
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Adi Dovrat Tags: Israel News, business Super–Sol CEO Efi Rosenhaus was questioned yesterday under caution by the Antitrust Authority over allegedly threatening them against "cooperating" with rival chain Blue Square‘s discounts drive. Suppliers have complained about receiving threats and allege >>>


      SURVIVING THE PINK SLIP BLUES
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Eti Aflalo Tags: Israel News, unemployment The recent wave of layoffs has sent the newly unemployed scurrying in the bureaucratic wheels of the severance process. Here are a few tips to surviving while temporarily out of the rat race.

The most important thing is to be sure to fill out all the necessary forms >>>


      TASE JUMPS 6% IN WEEK OF WAR
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Yuval Maoz Tags: stocks, Gaza, Israel News Tel Aviv stocks began the year 200' with a roar, despite the rockets peppering the cities of southern Israel and the gloom in world financial markets.

Asset prices advanced every day this week with the exception of Sunday, bringing the benchmark blue–chips >>>


      TOURISM VANISHES IN SOUTH, SHRINKS IN NORTHERN ISRAEL TOO
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Irit Rosenblum Tags: tourism, Gaza, Israel News Leisure travel to southern Israel has completely evaporated, and that northern Israel‘s facilities are also suffering from cancelations, say tourism industry sources.

January is usually a weak month for tourism anyway, but this one looks worse than usual. >>>


      ‘THE WORLD IS WHAT IT IS‘
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Alex Stein Tags: Israel Election 200' V.S. Naipaul‘s celebrated novel "A Bend in the River" begins with six brutal words, "The world is what it is." Israel will only be able to deal with the crucial challenges ahead if it adopts this realism as a mantra. Ironically, it has taken Hamas&ls >>>


      A WINNING STRATEGY
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Steven Klein Tags: Hamas, Israel News, Gaza From the moment Israel launched Operation Cast Lead against Hamas, one of the most persistently asked questions has concerned its exit strategy: When and how will Israel end this operation?

David Grossman‘s idea of a 48–hour unilateral cease–fire >>>


      BRINGING HAMAS IN FROM THE COLD
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Arthur Nelsen Tags: Gaza, Hamas, Israel News In November, Ahmed Yousef, the speechwriter and aide of Gaza‘s prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, claimed that U.S. President–elect Barack Obama‘s team had been in contact with the group during the U.S. election campaign.

The Obama camp den >>>


      CEASE–FIRE AT THE TOP, TOO
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Haaretz Editorial Tags: Gaza, Israel News, Hamas Prime Minister Ehud Olmert justifiably expects the Israeli public to rally around the Israel Defense Forces operation in the Gaza Strip and the rocket–ravaged residents of the south to remain steadfast. But Olmert should make the same demands on himself and his p >>>


      COOL ENOUGH TO GO VIRAL
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Marco Greenberg Tags: Hamas, Gaza, Israel News NEW YORK – "There they go again," commented an American friend over a drink early this week, apparently bored by the latest round in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. With or without a halt to hostilities, as Israel continues to roll out i >>>


      HONEY, I SHRUNK THE COUNTRY
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Yoel Marcus Advertisement Ordering this operation, the brainchild of Ehud Barak, was a stroke of brilliance. It caught the heads of Hamas unawares. We may have a few bleeding hearts among us who are crying genocide, but the 500 bombing sorties carried out as of this writing have focused solely on military targets, fr >>>


      HOW THEY CONNED US IN 2008
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Nehemia Shtrasler Tags: Israel News, Financial Crisis The year 2008 will be remembered as the year of the great crash. It also has an exact date – September 15, 2008, the day investment giant Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and the American administration failed to come to its aid. That was the day when the stock >>>


      IF YOU (OR I) WERE PALESTINIAN
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Yossi Sarid Tags: Hamas, Israel News, Gaza, IDF This week I spoke with my students about the Gaza war, in the context of a class on national security. One student, who had expressed rather conservative, accepted opinions – that is opinions tending slightly to the right – succeeded in surprising me. Withou >>>


      LOSE THE WINERIES BUT SAVE THE COUNTRY
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Uri Bar–Yosef Advertisement The situation today is that the major part of the Syrian army is located between the Golan Heights and the Damascus area, and the entire Golan is in the range of hundreds of Syrian artillery barrels. The significance derived from this is clear – except for deterrence (which so >>>


      ANALYSIS / IDF IS SENDING HAMAS A MESSAGE: NOW IT‘S PERSONAL
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent Tags: Israel, Israel News, Gaza The killing of senior Hamas official Nizar Ghayan Thursday in an Israel Air Force strike in Jabalya is a significant development at this stage of the war in the Gaza Strip, due not only to his high position in the Gaza leadership bu >>>


      CRITICAL FACTORIES FORCED TO SOLDIER ON IN SOUTH
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Ora Coren A new $70 million sugar refinery is close to going online at the Sugat plant in Kiryat Gat, located within a 30–kilometer radius from the Gaza Strip. Foreign experts, who must be on site to supervise, have all promised to return next week from their Christmas–New Year‘s vacations, but comp >>>


      DESPITE ROCKETS, CONSTRUCTION IN SOUTH PROGRESSES UNABATED
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Arik Mirovsky Work at construction sites in the south is continuing as usual, with the exception of occasional breaks for air raids, according to the Association of Contractors and Builders in Israel. Contractors say that potential buyers are still visiting the sites of residential projects, intent on bargaining over >>>


      EDUCATION MIN. SLAMS REPORT PUSHING STUDENT CASH INCENTIVES
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Or Kashti Education Minister Yuli Tamir said yesterday that she opposed monetary incentives for students, calling them "the least educational" of any incentive for success.

Tamir was commenting on the results of a research project, reported yesterday in Haaretz, which found that such incentives imp >>>


      FIFTY–ONE ROCKETS LAND IN GAZA–AREA COMMUNITIES
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Yuval Goren "A great miracle" was what people yesterday in Ashkelon were calling the fact that a Grad rocket landed in a cemetery just after a funeral had ended.

"There were seven funerals here today, and I‘m telling you it was just luck that something terrible didn‘t happen here,& >>>


      GRANDMA ROSA NO LONGER RESTS IN PEACE
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Gideon Levy The row of cypresses stood tall. The clouds that had darkened Gaza‘s skies throughout the day yesterday turned darker still. As sunset approached the municipal bulldozer lifted the smashed gravestone of Rosa Winokover, "Our dear mother, grandmother and great–grandmother," who died la >>>


      HOSPITALS GEARED FOR EMERGENCIES
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Dana Weiler–Polak The Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon this week received 42 people with war–related injuries, including one fatality. Of the remainder, six were in moderate to serious condition and the rest had mild injuries. Another 74 people were treated for panic and anxiety.

On Saturday, >>>


      IDF ADMITS TO OVERESTIMATING GAZA ROCKET SEVERITY, BUT WARNS WORST MAY BE YET TO COME
      Haaretz, 02-01-2009
     By Amos Harel and Ruth Sinai, Haaretz Correspondent Tags: Gaza, Israel News, Israel The threat that Hamas‘ ballistic capabilities pose to the people of the Negev is less serious than initially presumed and the residents of the targeted areas are not demonstrating signs of panic, according to an interim analysis by >>>



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