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      CLINTON STUMBLES OVER NEW RUSSIAN LEADER‘S NAME
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     CLEVELAND, Ohio (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who has argued she would be stronger on foreign policy than rival Barack Obama, stumbled over the name of the likely new Russian president on Tuesday while predicting he would not be an independent leader.

When asked at a de >>>


      CLINTON, OBAMA TRADE JABS ON HEALTH CARE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     CLEVELAND –– Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama blamed each other for spreading false information about their respective health care plans Tuesday night in a high stakes debate one week before a quartet of primaries.

"Senator Obama has consistently said I would force people to have health >>>


      DOOR COULD OPEN TO CLASS ACTIONS
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     a new front in the battle over troubled mortgages. By David ChoWashington Post Staff WriterWednesday, February 27, 2008; D01 A federal appeals court is nearing a decision on a battle between Chevy Chase Bank and a Wisconsin couple that could for the first time enable homeowners across the country to band together in cla >>>


      FILM PROMPTED FIRST HUMANE SLAUGHTER LAW
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     12:32 PM WASHINGTON –– A film showing slaughterhouse workers abusing animals spurs demands for the federal government to put a stop to the abuse. That happened this year _ and also a half–century ago, when a Seattle animal rights activist filmed hogs being mistreated at a Washington state slaughterhous >>>


      FLORIDA POWER BLACKOUT REMAINS A PUZZLE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     AM MIAMI –– Power executives were still in the dark Wednesday about how a glitch at a substation triggered a blackout that cut power to millions across south Florida. The outage snarled traffic when traffic signals went dead, forced hospitals to scramble for generators and cut off air conditioners in the aft >>>


      GATES TO TURKS: END IRAQ INCURSION SOON
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     AM NEW DELHI –– Defense Secretary Robert Gates headed for Ankara late Wednesday with a message for Turkish leaders: Get your troops out of northern Iraq in the next few days.

"It‘s very important that the Turks make this operation as short as possible and then leave," Gates said befo >>>


      ILL. GOVERNOR: DEMOLISH NIU HALL
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     DEKALB, Ill. –– The Illinois governor‘s office says the building where a gunman opened fire at Northern Illinois University will be demolished.

A gunman fatally shot five students attending a lecture inside Cole Hall on the campus in DeKalb before turning a gun on himself Feb. 14.

Gov >>>


      IN FLA., POWER OUTAGES LEAVE 4 MILLION WITHOUT ELECTRICITY
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     WritersTuesday, February 26, 2008; 5:21 PM A malfunction in a power substation near Miami triggered a chain of events today that caused a nuclear power plant to shut down and led to massive blackouts across southern Florida, leaving as many as 4 million people without electricity from Daytona to Miami, authorities said. >>>


      JACK DANIEL‘S MASTER DISTILLER TO RETIRE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     AM LOUISVILLE, Ky. –– For lovers of Jack Daniel‘s Tennessee Whiskey, Jimmy Bedford has the dream job.

As the brand‘s sixth master distiller, Bedford is responsible for making the world–famous whiskey at the Jack Daniel Distillery, which was registered in 1866. He‘s been featu >>>


      JUDGE REFUSES TO POSTPONE O.J. TRIAL
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     LAS VEGAS –– A judge is refusing lawyers‘ requests to postpone O.J. Simpson‘s armed robbery trial in Las Vegas.

Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass summoned lawyers and prosecutors to court to tell them she‘s sticking to the April 7 trial date agreed to in November.
>>>


      JURY DELIBERATING FATE OF EX–OFFICER
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     ':21 AM CANTON, Ohio –– A jury returned for a second day Wednesday to weigh a possible death sentence for a former police officer convicted of killing his pregnant girlfriend and their unborn daughter.

Jurors deliberated most of Tuesday and went back to work Wednesday morning in the case against >>>


      MAYOR RIPS PLAN TO EMPTY FEMA TRAILERS
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     NEW ORLEANS –– A plan to move people living in trailers to apartments and hotels because of concerns about formaldehyde fumes will not work and will lead to a "second great displacement" of New Orleans residents, the city‘s mayor said.

There simply isn‘t enough other housing av >>>


      MCCAIN MOCKS OBAMA‘S IRAQ COMMENTS
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     TYLER, Texas –– Republican presidential hopeful John McCain mocked Democrat Barack Obama on Wednesday for saying he would take action as president "if al–Qaida is forming a base in Iraq." "When you examine that statement, it‘s pretty remarkable," McCain told a crowd in Tyler, >>>


      NATION IN BRIEF
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     Byrd Is Hospitalized After Fall at His Home Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D–W.Va.) was hospitalized Tuesday after complaining of back pain following a fall at his home, his spokesman said.

Byrd, '0, is third in line to the presidency as Senate president pro tempore and is the longest–serving senator in h >>>


      OBAMA AND CLINTON CLASH IN TESTY DEBATE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     12:35 AM CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton clashed sharply in a high–stakes one–on–one debate on Tuesday, accusing each other of falsely portraying their stances on health care, trade and other issues.

Clinton, who needs to win next week in Ohio and Texas t >>>


      OBAMA AND CLINTON CLASH ON HEALTH CARE IN DEBATE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton clashed sharply over health care in a presidential debate on Tuesday, accusing each other of misrepresenting their plans to offer coverage for 47 million uninsured Americans.

Clinton, hoping to blunt Obama‘s growing momentum ahead of k >>>


      ON THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN TRAIL
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     4:56 AM –– IN THE HEADLINES Clinton, Obama debate in Ohio ... Sen. Chris Dodd endorses former presidential rival Barack Obama ... McCain disavows radio talk show host who calls Obama ‘hack, Chicago–style‘ politician ... Former President Clinton tells Texans to avoid "historical amnesia >>>


      OVERTURNED SCHOOL BUS SENDS STUDENTS, DRIVER TO HOSPITALS
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     February 27, 2008; 11:43 AM A school bus carrying 45 people overturned in Riverdale this morning, and the driver and several students were injured and taken to hospitals for treatment, a spokesman for the Prince George‘s County emergency services said.

The rest of the students were also transported to are >>>


      RICE VOICES DEEP REGRET FOR OKINAWA RAPE CASE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     TOKYO (Reuters) – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice voiced deep regret on Wednesday for a U.S. Marine‘s alleged rape of a 14–year–old Japanese girl, a case that has sparked outrage and official condemnation in Japan.

"We just regret deeply that this happened," Rice told a rep >>>


      SCHOOL BUS OVERTURNS IN MD.
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     RIVERDALE, Md. –– A bus carrying middle school students has overturned in Riverdale, Md. The fire department says at least 3 students and the bus driver are injured. An official says the injuries are not life–threatening.

Authorities say the accident happened this morning just before ' a.m >>>


      SEX–CHANGE INMATE SAYS TREATMENT STOPPED
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     BOSTON –– A killer who sued to have a sex change claims her body is becoming more masculine again because she‘s being denied treatment in prison as she awaits a ruling in her bid for the surgery. Michelle Kosilek, formerly known as Robert, said that for months she has not been allowed to have court&nda >>>


      SPORTS EXECS TO TALK STEROIDS IN D.C.
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     WASHINGTON –– The commissioners of the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball, the union leaders for those leagues, and other sports officials head to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for a House subcommittee hearing on steroids.

The chairman of the subcommittee plans to write legislation that would gover >>>


      STABBING ALLEGED IN POLITICAL DISPUTE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     NORRISTOWN, Pa. –– Montgomery County authorities say a man stabbed his brother–in–law during an argument over who should get the Democratic nomination for president.

What‘s more, Jose Ortiz, 28, who‘s charged with felony assault, is a registered Republican.

District >>>


      STARBUCKS PROMISES CUSTOMERS PERFECTION
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     4:5' AM SEATTLE –– A day after shutting down most of its U.S. shops for three hours to retrain baristas on espresso basics, Starbucks is welcoming customers back Wednesday with a new promise posted in stores: "Your drink should be perfect, every time. If not, let us know and we‘ll make it righ >>>


      STEVENS MAY HAVE RE–ELECT CHALLENGE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     ANCHORAGE, Alaska –– Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich will hold a news conference to discuss whether he‘ll run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Stevens, who is under a federal investigation.

The meeting with reporters was scheduled for later Wednesday. Begich has been courted by the top Democra >>>


      STRIPPER TESTIFIES AT NYC SHOOTING TRIAL
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     NEW YORK –– A topless dancer became the first eyewitness to testify at the trial of three police officers charged in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man on his wedding day, captivating the courtroom with a colorful and emotional account of the 50–shot slaying.

The witness, Marseilles Payne, c >>>


      WILDFIRES FLARE UP IN TEXAS, NEW MEXICO
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     ROBERT LEE, Texas –– Fire officials kept watch Tuesday on a wildfire threatening this town of 1,500 people, but evacuated residents were allowed to return.

Wildfires across the state, mostly in West Texas, since Monday have charred nearly 3'0 square miles _ about 250,000 acres. The largest was a >>>


      WORKING CLASS WOES KEY FOR OBAMA AND CLINTON IN OHIO
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     DAYTON, Ohio (Reuters) – This former manufacturing hub, now struggling with skyrocketing unemployment and foreclosures, presents a microcosm of woes faced by America‘s working class –– and voters are seeking answers from U.S. presidential candidates.

Once a thriving hub for the U.S. auto >>>


      BILL CLINTON‘S AIDE, NOW IN THE STORY
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     By Lois RomanoWashington Post Staff WriterWednesday, February 27, 2008; C01 Who is this guy?

Velcroed to a very agitated Bill Clinton as he ripped into a TV reporter not long ago was a pale, silent gentleman with prematurely thinning hair.

He could have been any political voyeur witnessing a campaign t >>>


      DEFENSE HONORS SERVICE IN WAR ON TERRORISM
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     N atalie Sudman, a project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers, had been in southern Iraq for 15 months when a roadside bomb exploded as her convoy returned from an inspection of water treatment plants and a new road.

She survived the October attack but was seriously injured. The explosion broke bones in he >>>


      GOP HALTS EFFORT TO RETRIEVE WHITE HOUSE E–MAILS
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     After promising last year to search its computers for tens of thousands of e–mails sent by White House officials, the Republican National Committee has informed a House committee that it no longer plans to retrieve the communications by restoring computer backup tapes, the panel‘s chairman said yesterday.
>>>


      GRASSLEY TO WRESTLE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     A15 For more than 20 years, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R–Iowa) has generally taken no prisoners when it comes to defending workers who blow the whistle on fraud.

But, at a hearing today, the pugnacious lawmaker will square off against an unusual combatant: the Justice Department, which opposes his plan to >>>


      HOUSING WOES PUT BUSH, HILL AT ODDS
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     February 27, 2008; A01 Congressional leaders yesterday gathered support for aggressive changes to bankruptcy laws that would help troubled homeowners, even as the Bush administration threatened to veto the plan and emphasized its opposition to any program that would risk tax dollars.

Democrats are calling for t >>>


      IN A CRUCIAL STATE, A CONTENTIOUS DEBATE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     By Dan Balz, Anne E. Kornblut and Shailagh MurrayWashington Post Staff WritersWednesday, February 27, 2008; A01 CLEVELAND, Feb. 26 –– In their final debate before critical primaries in Ohio and Texas, Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton clashed sharply on familiar ground, arguing over who has the b >>>


      IN THE DEMOCRATIC DEBATE, COOLER HEADS PREVAIL
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     People and pundits who carp when political debates get too harsh and hostile can be counted on to complain that last night‘s debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, televised on cable‘s MSNBC, was too tame and tepid.

It was, in fact, a relief to find both Democratic presidential candidates >>>


      LOANS COULD PAINT MCCAIN INTO CORNER
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     A06 Sen. John McCain‘s campaign and a Bethesda bank strongly defended $4 million in loans yesterday, as Democrats questioned their legality and said that the way they were secured requires the Arizona Republican to abide by federal spending restrictions.

Trevor Potter, a former Federal Election Commission >>>


      MCCAIN SUPPORTER RIDICULES OBAMA
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     2008; A06 CINCINNATI, Feb. 26 –– A supporter of Sen. John McCain (R–Ariz.) ridiculed Sen. Barack Obama (D–Ill.) in an introductory speech at a McCain rally here this morning, repeatedly using Obama‘s middle name, Hussein, and deriding him as a terrorist sympathizer.

Immediately aft >>>


      MOBILIZATION FOR GLOBALIZATION
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     For the past 30 years, American capitalism has been on a roller–coaster ride.

Remember, in the early 1'80s, the U.S. economy was written off as unproductive, unimaginative and self–indulgent, doomed to fall behind Japan and Germany with their superior business cultures and economic models?
< >>>


      NEGATIVE SPIN HASN‘T SPOILED OBAMA‘S YARN
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     Once upon a time, an audacious black man named Barack Obama decided to run for president of the United States. But a former president, a white man named Bill, wanted former first lady Hillary to have the job.

Or maybe not, because Bill began saying things that hurt his wife‘s chances. "Give me a brea >>>


      RULING MAY AID THOSE CHARGING AGE BIAS
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     A02 The Supreme Court wrestled for more than two months with the question of whether a worker alleging age discrimination may present as evidence similar stories from co–workers. Its ruling yesterday was a unanimous maybe.

Such "me, too‘‘ evidence is not automatically admissible or inadmi >>>


      SEN. WARNER HOSPITALIZED FOR HEART TROUBLE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     4:01 PM Sen. John W. Warner (R–Va.) checked into a hospital yesterday for observation of a heart condition, according to a statement released by his office today.

Warner, who was hospitalized last fall for atrial fibrillation –– an irregular heartbeat –– experienced a return of the >>>


      SENATE PASSES BILL ON INDIAN HEALTH CARE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     1:55 PM WASHINGTON –– American Indians would have better access to health care services, including screening and mental health programs, under legislation the Senate passed Tuesday.

The bill, approved 83–10, would boost programs at the federally funded Indian Health Service, prompt new constru >>>


      U.S. STEPS UP DEPORTATION OF IMMIGRANT CRIMINALS
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     A01 Immigration officials are increasingly scouring jails and courts nationwide and reviewing years–old criminal records to identify deportable immigrants, efforts that have contributed to a steep rise in deportations and strained the immigration court system.

Long accused of failing to do enough to depor >>>


      VICE PRESIDENTIAL CONTEST HEATS UP –– AT LEAST HERE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is emerging as consensus pick for vice president among both Republicans and Democrats.

Well, not exactly, but, based on a perusal of the nearly 600 entries in our contest to pick a running mate for Sen. John McCain (R–Ariz.) and the 2,600 entries to select one for Sen. Bar >>>


      WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR. DIES AT 82
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     1:16 PM William F. Buckley Jr., 82, the intellectual founder of the modern conservative movement, who helped define the movement‘s doctrines of anti–communism, military strength, social order and a capitalist economy, died today at his home in Stamford, Conn. He had diabetes and emphysema, but the precise ca >>>


      ‘OSAMA BIN LONDON‘ IS CONVICTED IN BRITISH COURT
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     2008; A10 LONDON, Feb. 26 –– A man who boasted to police that he was "Osama bin London" was convicted Tuesday of running terrorist training camps in the English countryside, including at least one attended by five men convicted in a failed attempt to bomb London‘s public transit system on Jul >>>


      15 KILLED IN CHINA FACTORY FIRE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     BEIJING –– An early morning factory fire left 15 people dead and three others severely wounded in Shenzhen, a state news agency reported Wednesday.

Xinhua News Agency said the fire in Shenzhen, a booming industrial city in Guangdong province, broke out several hours before dawn.

It said 15 >>>


      5% OF TB CASES DON‘T REACT TO SOME DRUGS
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     By David BrownWashington Post Staff WriterWednesday, February 27, 2008; A02 About one in every 20 new cases of tuberculosis worldwide is now resistant to two or more drugs, and in some regions of the former Soviet Union the proportion is closer to one in every five cases, the World Health Organization reported yesterday >>>


      AGREEMENT REACHED ON AIDS BILL
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     WASHINGTON –– House lawmakers said Wednesday they had reached agreement with the White House to more than triple spending for a global AIDS program that has proved to be one of the most successful and popular foreign policy initiatives of the Bush administration.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee >>>


      AIRLINE: PILOT FIRED FOR BUZZING AIRPORT
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     AM HONG KONG –– A Cathay Pacific Airways pilot was fired after he swooped down and buzzed a Seattle–area airfield without permission while taking delivery of a Boeing 777–300ER passenger jet, the airline said Wednesday.

The Hong Kong carrier _ which would not identify the pilot _ said it >>>


      BRITAIN TOLD TO RELEASE BLAIR CABINET‘S MINUTES
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     By Kevin SullivanWashington Post Foreign ServiceWednesday, February 27,
2008; A10 LONDON, Feb. 26 –– A British official on Tuesday ordered the government to release minutes from two meetings of then–Prime Minister Tony Blair‘s cabinet in March 2003, saying they could shed light on "uncer >>>


      BUSH AND CZECHS STILL SEEK RADAR DEAL
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     PM WASHINGTON –– President Bush said Wednesday the United States has not yet reached agreement with the Czech Republic to allow installation of a U.S.

missile–defense radar there, but that the two sides are close. A radar facility in the Czech Republic is part of a plan that also calls for pla >>>


      CHINA SFDA: BUYERS MUST VET DRUG SAFETY
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     1:56 AM SHANGHAI, China –– China‘s drug safety agency, commenting on a probe into the recalled drug heparin, said Wednesday it enforces strict controls on chemicals used in pharmaceuticals, but that importing countries are ultimately responsible for ensuring product safety.

The State Food and >>>


      DESIGNERS AU NATUREL
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     PM PARIS –– As rain clouds gathered over Paris on Tuesday, fashion designers drew inspiration from nature for outfits intended to brave the elements next fall.

French designer Jean Paul Gaultier, fresh from dressing best–actress winner Marion Cotillard for the Oscars in a mermaid gown, delved >>>


      DON‘T SIT ON THAT TOILET!
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     AUBURN, Wash. –– An employee of an Auburn nursing home called firefighters for help on Tuesday because the toilets were exploding with steam. The fire department said there was a boiler malfunction at Regency Auburn Rehabilitation Center that caused a minor explosion.

The blast set off the sprinkler >>>


      EARTHQUAKE FELT IN PARTS OF BRITAIN
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     MANCHESTER, England –– The strongest earthquake to hit Britain in more than two decades was felt across large parts of the country early Wednesday, officials said. Some homes had minor damage but there were no reports of injuries.

The British Geological Survey said the 5.3–magnitude quake stru >>>


      EARTHQUAKE SHAKES BRITAIN
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     LONDON (Reuters) – An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 shook parts of Britain on Wednesday but officials said there were no reports of anyone being killed or serious damage.

The quake struck about an hour after midnight and many people in the capital London and other areas said they had been woken up by >>>


      FIRST JOB AS PM TO CLEAR NAPLES GARBAGE: BERLUSCONI
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi‘s first task if returned to power in April‘s election will be to clear piles of rubbish from the streets of Naples, the former Italian prime minister said on Wednesday.

Berlusconi has blamed the centre left for allowing refuse to rot in Naples and says televi >>>


      HILL STAYS IN BEIJING TO WORK ON N.KOREA ISSUE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     TOKYO (Reuters) – The top U.S. negotiator with North Korea stayed in Beijing for an extra day on Wednesday to work on reviving the stalled effort to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear programs, the U.S. State Department said.

North Korea committed to abandon all nuclear weapons and programs in exch >>>


      HOW DID YOU GUYS FIND ME SO FAST?
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. –– Police arrested a suspect less than half an hour after a bank robbery in Port Townsend thanks to witnesses who pointed to the apartment building a block away where he fled.

Police arrested the 40–year–old man in his apartment building Monday and recovered money ta >>>


      IMAM FROM VA. MOSQUE NOW THOUGHT TO HAVE AIDED AL–QAEDA
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     A03 Even before the 2001 terrorist attacks, American–born imam Anwar al–Aulaqi drew the attention of federal authorities because of his possible connections to al–Qaeda. Their interest grew after '/11, when it turned out that three of the hijackers had spent time at his mosques in California and Fa >>>


      IN MODERN INDIA, TWO BUSY PATHS TO MENTAL PEACE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     By Emily WaxWashington Post Foreign ServiceWednesday, February 27, 2008; A10 NOIDA, India –– Whenever an exasperated new bride sought guidance on handling an overbearing mother–in–law or a businessman was in need of advice, astrologer K.B. Parsai always found answers for them by looking to the st >>>


      IN NORTH KOREA, BREAKING A BARRIER WITH SOUND
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     By Blaine HardenWashington Post Foreign ServiceWednesday, February 27,
2008; 6:08 AM PYONGYANG, North Korea, Feb. 27 –– Symphonic diplomacy won bravos and standing ovations here Tuesday night, as the New York Philharmonic performed a concert without precedent in this shuttered Stalinist state that has lo >>>


      INDIA TARGETS RAPID GROWTH IN GOLF
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India plans to capitalize on a growing pool of local talent and the nation‘s booming economy to play a bigger role in Asian golf, a senior golf official said on Wednesday.

Golf is regarded as the fastest growing sport in India and the country will stage a second major event in >>>


      IRAQ JOURNALIST UNION HEAD DIES AFTER GUN ATTACK
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The head of Iraq‘s biggest journalist organization died on Wednesday, colleagues said, four days after being seriously wounded by gunmen who opened fire on his car in Baghdad.

Shihab al–Tamimi, 74, was an independent journalist working for many local newspapers. He was know >>>


      IRAQI COUNCIL REJECTS ELECTIONS LAW
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     10:07 AM BAGHDAD –– Iraq‘s presidential council rejected a measure Wednesday setting up provincial elections, sending it back to parliament in the latest setback to U.S.–backed national reconciliation efforts.

The three–member panel, however, approved the 2008 budget and another la >>>


      ISRAEL AND HAMAS VIOLENCE SPIKES ON GAZA BORDER
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     GAZA (Reuters) – A rocket launched from the Hamas–run Gaza Strip killed a man in Israel on Wednesday, the first such fatality in nine months, after Israeli forces killed 10 Palestinians, most of them militants, in the territory.

The rocket attack, claimed by Hamas, seemed certain to increase public >>>


      KENYA‘S OPPOSITION CALLS OFF STREET PROTESTS
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     7:51 AM NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya‘s opposition on Wednesday called off street protests to try and force a power–sharing deal, while President Mwai Kibaki said he would create the prime minister‘s post that his rivals have been seeking.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga and Kibaki have come >>>


      KIDNAPPED U.S. AID WORKER, AFGHAN DRIVER FEARED DEAD
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     KABUL (Reuters) – An American woman aid worker and her local driver who were abducted in Afghanistan may have been killed, a Western security group source said on Wednesday.

Cyd Mizell, 4', an employee of the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation, and her driver were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen >>>


      KOFI ANNAN IN FINAL PUSH FOR KENYA DEAL
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     NAIROBI, Kenya –– Former U.N. Secretary–General Kofi Annan embarked on a final push Wednesday to squeeze a compromise from Kenya‘s feuding president and opposition leader.

Two months since Kenya‘s disputed presidential vote, Annan suspended monthlong talks between the two political >>>


      LAWMAKERS: EUROPE MUST DO MORE IN IRAQ
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     BRUSSELS, Belgium –– EU efforts have failed to help improve the situation in Iraq, a European Parliament report said Wednesday, calling for the 27–nation union to expand its presence on the ground.

Since 2003, the European Union has committed more than $1.2 billion for reconstruction.

>>>


      MARSHALS LOOKING FOR SUSPECT FIND GATORS
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     DAYTON, Ohio –– Dayton police and U.S. marshals called for backup from animal control when they found two alligators instead of the suspected probation violator they were after.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Joshua Hillard said the authorities went to a home Monday morning with an arrest warrant for a man acc >>>


      MERCHANTS IN BRITAIN GIVE YOUNG LOITERERS AN EARFUL
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     By Karla AdamSpecial to The Washington PostWednesday, February 27, 2008; A01 ABINGDON, England –– Jordan Webb can predict the exact time of day his head will start aching. If the 10–year–old lingers outside the Reynolds grocery store past 5 p.m., a small black device latched onto the storefront a >>>


      PALESTINIAN ROCKET KILLS 1 IN ISRAEL
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     JERUSALEM –– A Palestinian rocket struck a college campus in southern Israel Wednesday, killing one person and injuring a second, Israeli medics said.

The Hamas militant group said it had fired more than 20 rockets into southern Israel, including eight at Sderot, the town near Gaza where the deadly >>>


      PHILIPPINE FLOODS KILL 35, SURVIVORS REBUILD HOMES
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     MANILA (Reuters) – Residents in central and southern Philippine were rebuilding houses as floods subsided after two weeks of heavy rains that killed 35 people and left 10 missing, officials said on Wednesday.

"We‘re returning to normal," said Ben Evardone, governor of Eastern Samar, one of >>>


      RELEASE OF 4 HOSTAGES NEAR IN COLOMBIA
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     BOGOTA, Colombia –– Venezuelan helicopters have been given the green light to fly into Colombia on a mission to recover four rebel–held hostages after more than six years of captivity, a Red Cross official confirmed on Tuesday.

Two Venezuelan aircraft marked with the Red Cross logo will travel >>>


      RICE HINTS AT MOVEMENT ON NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR ISSUE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     TOKYO (Reuters) – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday she had useful talks with Chinese officials on how to end North Korea‘s nuclear ambitions, and left a senior aide in Beijing to continue the discussions.

North Korea committed to abandon all nuclear weapons and programs in excha >>>


      RICE SEEKS JAPAN‘S HELP WITH NORTH KOREA
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     TOKYO –– Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, seeking Japanese help in pressing North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons, said Wednesday she hopes the alleged rape of a Japanese teenager by a Marine on Okinawa will not harm U.S.–Japan ties.

After ordering her top Asia hand to stay behind in Chin >>>


      SENATE VOTES TO DEBATE BILL ON TROOP WITHDRAWALS FROM IRAQ
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     PM In a surprise move, the Senate voted overwhelmingly today to begin debating a bill that would begin withdrawing troops from Iraq in 120 days and cut funding for battlefield deployments.

Republicans, who are largely opposed to the withdrawal measure, announced that they would support beginning the debate beca >>>


      SUICIDE BOMBER HITS BUS IN IRAQ‘S NORTH, KILLING AT LEAST EIGHT
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     By Sudarsan RaghavanWashington Post Foreign ServiceWednesday, February 27, 2008; A10 BAGHDAD, Feb. 26 –– A suicide bomber detonated his explosives belt outside a bus in northern Iraq on Tuesday, killing at least eight people and injuring another eight, U.S. military and Iraqi officials said.

The inc >>>


      TOP IRAQI JOURNALIST DIES AFTER AMBUSH
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     AM BAGHDAD –– The chief of the Iraqi Journalists‘ Union died Wednesday of wounds suffered in an ambush described as a tragic example of the dangers still faced by the country‘s journalists. He was 74.

Shihab al–Timimi had just left the union headquarters to head to a nearby art gal >>>


      TURKEY SAYS THERE‘S NO TIMETABLE FOR IRAQ PULLOUT
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     12:31 PM BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Turkey said on Wednesday it had "no timetable" to withdraw troops fighting Kurdish guerrillas in northern Iraq, resisting pressure from the United States and other allies to end the offensive quickly.

Thousands of Turkish troops crossed the border last Thursday to ro >>>


      U.N. ENVOY CRITICAL OF GAZA LIVING CONDITIONS, THREATS TO ANNAPOLIS INITIATIVE
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     A12 UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 26 –– Living conditions in the Gaza Strip have deteriorated significantly as a result of Israeli restrictions on travel and trade, threatening the health of Gazans and impeding the peace initiative the Bush administration launched three months ago in Annapolis, according to the Unite >>>


      U.S. MAY SIGN GUANTANAMO ACCORD WITH ALGERIA: AGENCY
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     ALGIERS (Reuters) – The United States may soon sign an agreement with Algeria on the possible return home of Algerian prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, the official Algerian APS news agency reported on Wednesday.

Visiting Assistant U.S. Secretary of State David Welch told Algerian reporters t >>>


      US AID WORKER FEARED DEAD IN AFGHANISTAN
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     AM KABUL, Afghanistan –– An American aid worker and her Afghan driver kidnapped in southern Afghanistan a month ago are feared dead, a statement from their aid group said. Afghan and U.S. officials said Wednesday they could not confirm the report.

Cyd Mizell, 50, and driver Abdul Hadi were kidnapped >>>


      US, NKOREAN MUSICIANS PERFORM TOGETHER
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     PYONGYANG, North Korea –– North Korean and American musicians shared the stage Wednesday as the New York Philharmonic concluded a historic visit to Pyongyang that could herald warmer ties between the two nations.

Four Philharmonic musicians joined four North Koreans in a chamber music concert, playi >>>


      VENEZUELA HELICOPTERS FLY TO FREE COLOMBIA HOSTAGES
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     CARACAS (Reuters) – Two helicopters flew from a Venezuelan military base to Colombia on Wednesday to pick up four lawmakers held hostage for years in the jungle by Marxist guerrillas, in a diplomatic victory for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The red and white helicopters painted with the symbol of the >>>


      VENEZUELAN HELICOPTERS PICK UP CAPTIVES
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     PM SAN JOSE DEL GUAVIARE, Colombia –– Colombian rebels handed four hostages over to the International Red Cross and Venezuela‘s interior minister Wednesday.

The four Colombian politicians, who had been held for more than six years, were released in a clearing in Colombia‘s southern jungl >>>


      WITH CHANGE IN THE AIR, CUBANS SPECULATE ON CURRENCY
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     By Manuel Roig–FranziaWashington Post Foreign ServiceWednesday, February 27, 2008; A08 HAVANA, Feb. 26 –– Cubans swamped currency exchange offices Monday and early Tuesday in a brief but intense speculative frenzy fueled by rumors that new President Ra'4;żl Castro would end the island&lsquo >>>


      WORLD IN BRIEF
      Washington Post, 27-02-2008
     pakistan Police Arrest Suspect in Oct. Attack on Bhutto Pakistan has arrested a suspected al–Qaeda fighter named by slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto before her death as one of those involved in an attempt on her life in October, a senior government official said Tuesday.

Qari Saifullah Akhtar, who h >>>


      ACCIDENT ON THE AYALON
      Haaretz, 27-02-2008
     By Guy Leshem A government company ran NIS 664 million over budget, paying for projects never approved. Yet the management didn‘t think the board needed to know.

The Ayalon Highway Corporation is one of Israel‘s most important government companies. It is responsible for building and maintaining road >>>


      AG FORGAVE ERRANT OFFICIAL AT OFERS‘ FIRM
      Haaretz, 27-02-2008
     By Avi Bar–Eli Tags: israel corporation, israel Hagai Miller is back at The Israel Corporation group two months after suspending himself. He had stepped down after TheMarker revealed that he went to work in the private sector before completing his mandatory cooling–off period following high–ranking wor >>>


      ALEXANDER OFF THE HOOK AGAIN
      Haaretz, 27-02-2008
     By Omri Cohen Tags: jacob alexander, comverse The Namibian Magistrates Court has once again delayed the hearing on the extradition of Israeli businessman and former Comverse CEO Jacob (Kobi) Alexander to the U.S., his lawyer told Associated Press.

According to Alexander‘s lawyer, the hearing, which was du >>>


      DELEK, PROPPER VEHICLE VITNIA FILES PROSPECTUS FOR NIS 210M BOND ISSUE
      Haaretz, 27-02-2008
     By Yoram Gavison Tags: Vitnia, israel, Propper Vitnia – a real estate company controlled by Delek Real Estate and brothers Gad and Dan Propper – has submitted a draft prospectus for an issue of index–linked bonds.

The company‘s paper will carry an A2 investment–grade rating from th >>>


      DOLLAR REBOUNDS ON RATE CUT
      Haaretz, 27-02-2008
     By Tal Levy Tags: dollar, shekel, israel The dollar–shekel exchange rate recovered 1.34% yesterday in response to central bank governor Stanley Fischer‘s decision on Monday to slash interest rates by 0.5%, rising to a representative exchange rate of NIS 3.628 to the dollar.

Lowering the interest rat >>>


      MARKET REPORT / RAPAC RISES 5.5% ON SOLGOOD ACQUISITION
      Haaretz, 27-02-2008
     By Michael Rochvarger Tags: tel aviv stock exchange Tel Aviv stocks ended yesterday with a positive bias following the shocker 0.5% rate cut for March announced the day before. The Bank of Israel astonished the pundits by lowering its lending rates by half a percent, while the consensus had ranged from a quarter–p >>>


      NES TZIONA ON THE SEA?
      Haaretz, 27-02-2008
     By Guy Lieberman Tags: beach, palmachim, nes tziona The mayor of Nes Tziona, Joseph Shvo, has an idea. People like to swim in the sea, don‘t they? So he contacted the Israel Lands Authority, suggesting that Nes Tziona buy the Palmachim beach. He even offered them NIS 8 million for tract of sand.

Shvo&lsqu >>>


      NO BEZEQ OPTIONS FOR YES CEO
      Haaretz, 27-02-2008
     By Ora Coren Tags: telephone company, israel Ron Eilon, the chief executive of the Yes satellite TV company, can‘t have any stock options for Bezeq shares, if Israel‘s trustbuster has anything to do with it.

Antitrust Commissioner Ronit Kan yesterday warned Bezeq against awarding Bezeq stock options >>>


      POLICE PROBE MOFAZ OFFICE
      Haaretz, 27-02-2008
     By Guy Leshem Tags: shaul mofaz Police investigators arrived at the bureau of Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz yesterday to question a number of employees, including the minister‘s bureau chief Eli Kamir. The probe was part of an investigation into the ministry‘s licensing department and the office of the >>>


      PSAGOT SEPARATING SELL–SIDE, BUY–SIDE RESEARCH SECTIONS
      Haaretz, 27-02-2008
     By Michael Rochvarger Tags: psagot, business, israel Tel Aviv–based Psagot Ofek Investment House is restructuring its research department as part of the investment house‘s expansion. At the beginning of 2007, Psagot was managing NIS 26 billion in assets, and today that figure has mushroomed to NIS 45 billion >>>



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