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1 Iraq attacks kill 30, provincial governor wounded

by Bassim al-Anbari, AFP

Wed Dec 30, 7:48 am ET

RAMADI, Iraq (AFP) – Blasts in central and western Iraq killed 30 people and wounded the Anbar provincial governor on Wednesday, the latest in a series of attacks in recent months against government targets in Iraq.

The worst violence struck the western city of Ramadi, where 23 people were killed and 30 were wounded in co-ordinated bombings, blamed on Al-Qaeda amid collusion from the security forces, at the governor’s offices in the centre of Anbar’s provincial capital.

Governor Qassim Mohammed Abid was among the wounded, while senior security officials were also killed and injured. Around 20 cars were destroyed in the blasts.

2 Afghan soldier shoots US, Italian troops: NATO

by Lynne O’Donnell, AFP

Tue Dec 29, 2:42 pm ET

KABUL (AFP) – An American soldier has died after being shot when an Afghan soldier opened fire on foreign troops in western Afghanistan on Tuesday, also wounding two Italians, NATO said.

The US soldier died from his wounds not long after the incident, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

“An ISAF service member from the United States died following a shooting today in western Afghanistan,” ISAF said in a statement.

3 Argentina hosts first gay marriage in Latin America

AFP

Tue Dec 29, 2:06 pm ET

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) – Two men from Argentina have become the first homosexuals to legally marry in heavily Roman Catholic Latin America, after the governor of southernmost Tierra del Fuego province let them wed.

“We got married today in Ushuaia,” the windswept provincial capital, an exultant Alex Freyre told the Todos Noticias news channel in Buenos Aires by telephone Tuesday.

“It is a dream come true for us. We are completely moved, and so happy for what this means for all gays and lesbians in Argentina,” Freyre added.

4 Iran opposition leaders told to repent or else

by Laurent Maillard, AFP

13 mins ago

TEHRAN (AFP) – Hundreds of thousands of government supporters took to Iran’s streets on Wednesday in a show of force against the opposition, with a senior cleric telling their leaders to repent or face death.

Just hours later, state news agency IRNA reported that top opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi had fled the capital fearing for their lives.

“Two of the chiefs of the sedition left Tehran for the north of Iran after learning that the population was increasingly angry and demanding their punishment,” IRNA said.

5 China executes British national, sparking outrage

by Robert Saiget, AFP

Tue Dec 29, 2:41 pm ET

BEIJING (AFP) – China executed a Briton said to have serious mental health problems for drug smuggling despite last-minute pleas Tuesday for clemency, drawing furious condemnation from London, the EU and rights groups.

Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was “appalled and disappointed” by the execution of Akmal Shaikh, a 53-year-old father-of-three who according to supporters had bipolar disorder. His family expressed grief and asked for privacy.

China confirmed the execution and defended its use of capital punishment as a deterrent, saying evidence of Shaikh’s mental illness was “insufficient”. It said it hoped London would not “create new obstacles” to diplomatic ties.

6 Obama: ‘Catastrophic’ intelligence flaws led to plane attack

by Stephen Collinson, AFP

Tue Dec 29, 5:48 pm ET

HONOLULU, Hawaii (AFP) – President Barack Obama bluntly said Tuesday the thwarted Christmas Day airliner attack exploited a potentially “catastrophic” systemic failure in the US intelligence community.

Obama vowed to hold security agencies to account for gaping flaws, as it emerged that the 23-year-old Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a packed Northwest jet only recently left Yemen, a suspected haven for extremists.

“A systemic failure has occurred and I consider that totally unacceptable,” Obama said in a statement, breaking his Hawaii vacation for a second straight day to update Americans on the attack, claimed by Al-Qaeda.

7 US consumer confidence stirs from doldrums

by Veronica Smith, AFP

Tue Dec 29, 3:12 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US consumers had little to cheer about in December’s holiday season as jobs remain scarce, a widely watched survey showed Tuesday, suggesting household spending could remain slack in early 2010.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose modestly for the second straight month in December, to 52.9 from an upwardly revised 50.6 in November.

The reading was a shade below the 53.0 expected by most analysts; the private research firm initially reported the November index at 49.5.

8 Suicide bomber kills 30 at Pakistan’s Ashura

by Hasan Mansoor, AFP

Mon Dec 28, 3:45 pm ET

KARACHI (AFP) – A suicide bomber on Monday targeted Pakistan’s largest procession of Shiite Muslims on their holiest day, killing at least 30 people and wounding dozens more in defiance of a major security crackdown.

The blast sparked riots in Karachi, the financial capital, where angry mourners went on the rampage, throwing stones at ambulances, torching cars and shops and firing bullets into the air, sparking appeals for calm.

Pakistan had deployed tens of thousands of police and paramilitary forces, fearing sectarian clashes or militant attacks on Ashura processions, when Shiites whip themselves to mourn the seventh-century killing of Imam Hussein.

9 Iran cracks down on dissidents after deadly protests

AFP

Mon Dec 28, 3:08 pm ET

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iranian security forces arrested more than a dozen dissidents Monday after at least eight people were killed in fierce clashes, opposition websites said, drawing international condemnation.

Those detained included aides to reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami and opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, veteran dissident Ebrahim Yazdi and award-winning rights campaigner Emadeddin Baghi, reports said.

The security force raids are certain to further antagonise the opposition, which has defied the authorities to stage noisy protests at every opportunity since Ahmadinejad was returned to power in a disputed June presidential vote.

10 Thailand deports Hmong to Laos despite protests

by Pornchai Kittiwongsakul, AFP

Mon Dec 28, 11:49 am ET

KHEK NOI, Thailand (AFP) – The Thai army on Monday rounded up thousands of ethnic Hmong asylum-seekers and began returning them to communist Laos despite international protests over fears they could face persecution.

A force of 5,000 armed with batons and shields entered the camp in Huay Nam Khao village in northern Thailand before dawn to load the Hmong on to trucks, said Colonel Thana Charuvat, coordinator of the operation.

Thana said a total of 4,371 Hmong had all left the camp. “The operation finished in the late afternoon and those Hmong are all on their way back to Laos,” he said, adding that they all would have left Thai soil by Monday night.

11 Airports step up security after failed attack

AFP

Mon Dec 28, 10:59 am ET

LONDON (AFP) – Air travellers faced stringent new security restrictions Monday following an attempt to blow up a US airliner, including a ban on going to the toilet during the final hour of some flights.

Passengers in the United States and Europe found their flights during the already busy holiday season were subject to delay to allow time for increased searches and checks in the wake of the botched attack on Friday.

Amsterdam-Schiphol airport was investigating how a 23-year-old Nigerian with reported links to Al-Qaeda could have smuggled on board explosives that he allegedly tried to detonate as the flight from Amsterdam approached Detroit.

12 US searches for answers to failed plane attack

AFP

9 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US intelligence agencies scrambled to explain security lapses that almost led to the mid-air bombing of a US jet as reports emerged they knew Al-Qaeda was plotting “a Christmas surprise.”

An angered US President Barack Obama has demanded a full accounting into what he denounced as systemic intelligence failures after the December 25 thwarted attack on a Northwest plane travelling from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Initial reports are due on his desk Thursday.

13 Dutch to install scanners for all flights to US

AFP

2 hrs 25 mins ago

THE HAGUE (AFP) – Passengers flying to the United States from the Netherlands will have to undergo body scans after a bid to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner from Amsterdam, the interior minister said Wednesday.

Guusje ter Horst told reporters that all available scanning machines at the city’s Schiphol Airport would be put into use next month.

“It has been decided to use body scanners at Schiphol for all flights to the United States,” she told a press conference.

14 British hostage held in Iraq since 2007 freed

by Michael Thurston, AFP

Wed Dec 30, 11:23 am ET

LONDON (AFP) – A British computer expert kidnapped in Iraq in 2007 has been freed and is in good spirits despite a hostage ordeal in which four bodyguards also seized died or are feared dead, Britain said Wednesday.

Peter Moore, 36, had experienced an “unspeakable two and a half years of misery, fear and uncertainty,” Foreign Secretary David Miliband said, while lamenting the bodyguards’ deaths.

“Peter was set free by his captors this morning in Baghdad and delivered to the Iraqi authorities. He is now in the care of the British embassy in Baghdad,” he said.

15 Sarkozy scrambles to salvage carbon tax

by Carole Landry, AFP

Wed Dec 30, 7:15 am ET

PARIS (AFP) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy faced an embarrassing setback Wednesday after the high court struck down a planned carbon tax to fight global warming, just days before it was to kick in.

The constitutional court ruled that too many exemptions to the tax on carbon dioxide emissions created inequalities and unfairly placed the burden of cutting down wasteful energy use on a minority of consumers.

Sarkozy had fiercely defended the measure in the face of strong public opposition, calling it a “revolutionary” approach in the fight against climate change and making it a pillar of his 2010 budget.

16 England denies Commonwealth Games pullout plans

AFP

Wed Dec 30, 6:10 am ET

LONDON (AFP) – Press reports that England are poised to withdraw from next year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi over security fears were denied on Wednesday by Games officials in London and in India.

The Daily Telegraph, quoting unnamed sources, said police and security advisers fear the England team will be targeted by Pakistani militants and feel the safety of athletes cannot currently be guaranteed.

There is therefore “virtually no chance” of England sending a team, in what would be the first time that England has not competed in the 80-year history of the Games, to be held in New Delhi in October, said the paper. Related article: Australia ‘won’t join’ any pullout

17 Politically correct food on the menu in Britain

by Loic Vennin, AFP

Wed Dec 30, 1:55 am ET

LONDON (AFP) – From foie gras produced without making birds suffer to “sustainable” fish, British retailers and restaurants are fast embracing politically correct food, helped by celebrity-fuelled pressure.

Faux (false) gras is the ethical answer to the foodstuff which has been the bane of campaigners for decades for the way it’s produced: force-feeding ducks or geese to create engorged livers that yield the creamy pate.

Waitrose, House of Fraser and Tesco are among a growing number of major British retailers who are now refusing to stock real foie gras after protest campaigns.

18 Bombs kill more than 30 in Iraq

By Fadhel al-Badrani, Reuters

Wed Dec 30, 11:15 am ET

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) – Twin suicide bombs killed at least 26 and wounded more than 100 in Iraq’s Sunni Arab heartland on Wednesday and a roadside bomb killed seven pilgrims returning from a major Shi’ite Muslim religious festival.

The attacks underscored the tenaciousness of Iraq’s ongoing insurgency despite a steep drop in overall violence and reflected Iraq’s vulnerability as it prepares for national polls in March and local troops take over from U.S. forces.

U.S. forces flew Qassim Mohammed, governor of Anbar province west of the Iraqi capital, to Baghdad for treatment after he was wounded in the attacks outside the provincial government headquarters in Ramadi, Anbar’s provincial capital.

19 Hundreds of thousands at pro-government rallies in Iran

By Parisa Hafezi, Reuters

1 hr 17 mins ago

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of government supporters rallied across Iran on Wednesday, swearing allegiance to the clerical establishment and accusing opposition leaders of causing unrest in the Islamic state.

Iran’s police chief warned supporters of opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi to expect harsh treatment if they joined illegal anti-government rallies, three days after eight protesters were killed in demonstrations.

Hundreds of thousands took part in the government-organized demonstrations, which state television broadcast live, chanting slogans against the opposition leaders — Mousavi and moderate defeated presidential candidate Mehdi Karoubi.

20 Pakistan Taliban says carried out Karachi bombing

By Faisal Aziz, Reuters

Wed Dec 30, 7:28 am ET

KARACHI (Reuters) – Pakistan’s Taliban on Wednesday claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 43 people in the commercial capital Karachi, and threatened more attacks on the U.S. ally.

“My group claims responsibility for the Karachi attack and we will carry out more such attacks, within 10 days,” said Asmatullah Shaheen, one of the commanders of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, who spoke by telephone to a Reuters reporter in Peshawar.

The prospect of more violence comes at a tricky time for Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who already faces political heat because corruption charges against some of his aides may be revived.

21 Special Report: America’s route to recovery

By Nick Carey, Reuters

Tue Dec 29, 11:07 am ET

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (Reuters) – When Bob Hagan was a boy people hereabouts equated the coke dust they swept off their doorsteps each day with opportunity, for it came from the steel mills that built this city.

After graduating from high school more than 40 years ago, Hagan worked briefly at one of the local steel mills that dominated the local economy. In 1971, he became a locomotive engineer at railroad company CSX Corp, switching rail cars in every mill and yard in the area over the years.

The job afforded him a ground-level view of the slow-moving disaster that would tear out Youngstown’s heart over the next decade and a half — as it did many other towns in America’s Rust Belt.

22 8 Americans die in suicide blast in Afghanistan

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer

9 mins ago

KABUL – A suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest at a military base in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing eight Americans, U.S. officials said.

The explosion occurred at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost province near the Afghan border with Pakistan.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly confirmed that eight Americans died in the attack.

23 Bombs kill 23 in Iraq’s western Anbar province

By KATHARINE HOURELD, Associated Press Writer

28 mins ago

BAGHDAD – Twin bombings – one an assassination attempt against an Iraqi provincial governor – killed 23 people and wounded the governor Wednesday in the worst violence in months to hit the western province that was once al-Qaida’s top stronghold in Iraq.

Also on Wednesday, a British hostage held for more than two years by militants was released safely in Baghdad and is now in the care of the British Embassy.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in a statement in London that Peter Moore was released by his captors Wednesday morning and taken to Iraqi authorities.

24 AP-GfK Poll: 2009 was bad for America, Americans

By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer

29 mins ago

WASHINGTON – For all their differences, Americans largely agree on two things: 2009 was a lousy year for the nation, and 2010 is likely to be better. Nearly three-fourths of Americans think 2009 was a bad year for the country, which was rocked by job losses, home foreclosures and economic sickness. Forty-two percent rated it “very bad,” according to the latest AP-GfK poll.

That’s clearly worse than in 2006, the last time a similar poll was taken. The survey that year found that 58 percent of Americans felt the nation had suffered a bad year, and 39 percent considered it a good year.

Fewer than half as many people, 16 percent, said their family had a “very good year” in 2009 as said that in 2006.

25 Iran hardliners call for killing rivals at rallies

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

22 mins ago

TEHRAN, Iran – Tens of thousands of hard-liners poured into the streets in support of Iran’s clerical rulers at state-sponsored rallies Wednesday, some chanting calls for the execution of opposition leaders as the country’s internal strife turned more bitter.

Some wore white funeral shrouds to symbolize a willingness to die in defense of the ruling system. An ominous online threat in the name of a previously unknown group said suicide squads were ready to assassinate the opposition leaders should the judiciary fail to punish them within a week.

The display of popular support for the government and the stirring, violent rhetoric from the crowd appeared to be a genuine outpouring, though some supporters were bused in by the government. The rallies showed Iran’s rulers could forcefully take back control of the streets after opposition demonstrations Sunday that triggered the worst bloodshed since the height of the unrest over the summer.

26 Judge to hear Leach’s restraining order motion

By BETSY BLANEY, Associated Press Writer

Wed Dec 30, 7:16 am ET

LUBBOCK, Texas – Who will coach Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl may be decided in a Lubbock court Wednesday morning.

Mike Leach, suspended this week by the university, is asking for a temporary restraining order that would allow him to coach the Red Raiders against Michigan State on Saturday.

In an affidavit included in the court filing Tuesday, Leach said he “would never intentionally harm or endanger a player” and that he has been “forced into this situation without being afforded any process.” He also said “absolutely” no evidence had been given to him that showed he had violated any university rules or standards.

27 Graceland Too attracts offbeat tourism in Miss.

By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS, Associated Press Writer

Wed Dec 30, 7:01 am ET

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. – Paul MacLeod is a perpetually caffeinated Elvis fanatic who’s taking care of business 24-7-365 at the antebellum home he calls “Graceland Too.”

Pound on the door at any hour – seriously, it’s OK to arrive at 4 in the morning – and the 67-year-old former auto worker will escort you through his discombobulating, floor-to-ceiling collection of photos, records, figurines, cardboard cutouts, candy wrappers, clocks and other random kitsch featuring the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

“I’d give my life right now if I could bring this guy back,” MacLeod says in his auctioneer’s staccato, his gray hair slicked back in a ’50s style.

28 Texting while driving, smoking target of ’10 laws

By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press Writer

30 mins ago

MADISON, Wis. – Texting while driving, smoking in public and cooking with artery-clogging trans fats will be that much harder under a bevy of state laws set to take effect around the country on Friday.

Faced with huge budget shortfalls and little extra money to throw around, state lawmakers exercised their (inexpensive) power to clamp down on impolite, unhealthy and sometimes dangerous behaviors in 2009.

Even toy guns were targeted.

29 NYC’s real `Law & Order’ DA retires after 35 years

By JENNIFER PELTZ, Associated Press Writer

1 hr 37 mins ago

NEW YORK – Robert Morgenthau has been cast in many roles during his decades in office.

The inspiration for the district attorney on TV’s “Law & Order.” A taker-on of mobsters, misbehaving celebrities and corrupt CEOs. A Democratic powerbroker who grew up among Roosevelts and Kennedys and helped launch careers, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s.

A local prosecutor who used his office’s prominence to stretch the long arm of the law where he saw fit. A savvy, wry and indefatigable New York institution who happens to be 90.

30 South African doctor sees drug-resistant HIV

By MARGIE MASON and MARTHA MENDOZA, Associated Press Writers

Wed Dec 30, 12:00 am ET

PRETORIA, South Africa – It’s 8 a.m. and Dr. Theresa Rossouw is already drowning behind a cluttered desk of handwritten HIV charts – new, perplexing cases of patients whose lifesaving drugs have turned against them.

Her cell phone chirps. Her desk phone bleats. She scribbles notes on a planner, spins in her chair, juggles requests about labs and drug regimens.

Rossouw is on the front lines of a new battle in the fight against HIV: The drugs that once worked so well are starting not to work. And now the resistance is showing up in sub-Saharan Africa, home to two-thirds of the world’s 33 million HIV cases.

31 Drums probed as possible cause of NH anthrax case

By HOLLY RAMER, Associated Press Writer

Tue Dec 29, 7:45 pm ET

CONCORD, N.H. – A New Hampshire woman diagnosed with a rare gastrointestinal anthrax case may have swallowed spores propelled into the air by vigorous drumming, a state health expert said.

Officials haven’t confirmed how the woman contracted the disease but are focusing on a drum circle gathering she attended Dec. 4 at the United Campus Ministry center in Durham shortly before becoming ill. Public health officials who learned of her diagnosis last week immediately began investigating, and earlier this week shut down the ministry center after anthrax spores were found on two drums.

Some health officials believe it’s the nation’s first case of gastrointestinal anthrax, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is unsure.

32 Beverly Hills schools move to cut outside pupils

By CHRISTINA HOAG, Associated Press Writer

Tue Dec 29, 4:21 pm ET

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Threats on Facebook, name-calling, security guard escorts – tempers are running high around schools these days in this normally sedate enclave of ostentatious wealth.

The reason: The Beverly Hills school board is preparing to boot out 10 percent of its students as it ends a decades-old practice of allowing out-of-district pupils to attend city schools on “opportunity permits.”

The move has upset many so-called permit parents – mostly middle-class families living in the tonier areas of Los Angeles who are loath to send their children to the beleaguered Los Angeles Unified School District, where more than a quarter of high-schoolers drop out.

33 With a twist, race still a factor in Ala. gov race

By PHILLIP RAWLS, Associated Press Writer

Tue Dec 29, 3:06 pm ET

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The man vying to become Alabama’s first black governor is battling some unlikely critics – black Democratic leaders who were on the front lines of the civil rights movement.

U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, 42, wasted little time launching his campaign after Barack Obama’s presidential victory last year. The prospects seemed promising for the Harvard-educated lawyer, a moderate with proven appeal to white voters who will be running in a June Democratic primary where black voters could account for as much as half the turnout.

But a year in, Davis is finding that racial prejudice is not the biggest obstacle to presiding at the Capitol where Gov. George C. Wallace once proclaimed “segregation forever.”

34 No trial, but Nev gov’s divorce damage may be done

By SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press Writer

Tue Dec 29, 10:51 am ET

RENO, Nev. – Gov. Jim Gibbons smiled when the judge presiding over what promised to be a salacious and sensational four-day divorce trial asked if Gibbons’ settlement with the first lady was fair and equitable.

“Yes,” the first-term Republican finally managed to utter, as if biting his tongue.

It may be fair, but the divorce decree ending his 23-year marriage to Dawn Gibbons – the first for a sitting governor in Nevada – is unlikely to undo all the political damage that motivated the former congressman to pay more alimony than he wanted and sell the ranch where he hoped to retire.

35 San Jose police mount cameras on officers’ heads

By SUDHIN THANAWALA, Associated Press Writer

Tue Dec 29, 3:49 am ET

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Grainy cell phone images are often used against cops accused of using excessive violence. Now, officers are being armed with their own cameras.

The so-called head cameras are the latest technology to come from TASER International, Inc., makers of the stun guns popular with law enforcement.

“It’s like the helmet cam you’ve seen on X Games,” said San Jose police officer William Pender, who demonstrated the camera on a recent afternoon.

36 Broadcasters’ woes could spell trouble for free TV

By ANDREW VANACORE, AP Business Writer

Tue Dec 29, 3:07 am ET

NEW YORK – For more than 60 years, TV stations have broadcast news, sports and entertainment for free and made their money by showing commercials. That might not work much longer.

The business model is unraveling at ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox and the local stations that carry the networks’ programming. Cable TV and the Web have fractured the audience for free TV and siphoned its ad dollars. The recession has squeezed advertising further, forcing broadcasters to accelerate their push for new revenue to pay for programming.

That will play out in living rooms across the country. The changes could mean higher cable or satellite TV bills, as the networks and local stations squeeze more fees from pay-TV providers such as Comcast and DirecTV for the right to show broadcast TV channels in their lineups. The networks might even ditch free broadcast signals in the next few years. Instead, they could operate as cable channels – a move that could spell the end of free TV as Americans have known it since the 1940s.

37 Pressure rises to stop antibiotics in agriculture

By MARGIE MASON AND MARTHA MENDOZA, Associated Press Writers

Tue Dec 29, 12:01 am ET

FRANKENSTEIN, Mo. – The mystery started the day farmer Russ Kremer got between a jealous boar and a sow in heat.

The boar gored Kremer in the knee with a razor-sharp tusk. The burly pig farmer shrugged it off, figuring: “You pour the blood out of your boot and go on.”

But Kremer’s red-hot leg ballooned to double its size. A strep infection spread, threatening his life and baffling doctors. Two months of multiple antibiotics did virtually nothing.

38 Confusion fills skies after attempted bombing

By MICHAEL TARM, Associated Press Writer

Mon Dec 28, 9:25 pm ET

CHICAGO – You are now free to move about the cabin. Or not. After a two-day security clampdown prompted by a thwarted attempt to bomb a jetliner, some airline officials told The Associated Press that the in-flight restrictions had been eased. And it was now up to captains on each flight to decide whether passengers can have blankets and other items on their laps or can move around during the final phase of flight.

Confused? So were scores of passengers who flew Monday on one of the busiest travel days of the year. On some flights, passengers were told to keep their hands visible and not to listen to iPods. Even babies were frisked. But on other planes, security appeared no tighter than usual.

The Transportation Security Administration did little to explain the rules. And that inconsistency might well have been deliberate: What’s confusing to passengers is also confusing to potential terrorists.

39 Details sought on Ireland, US clergy abuse cases

By BOB SALSBERG, Associated Press Writer

Mon Dec 28, 6:56 pm ET

BOSTON – Victims of clergy sex abuse and a group that tracks pedophile priests called on local Roman Catholic leaders and the Irish government Monday to publicly detail known connections between the clergy abuse scandals in the U.S. and Ireland.

Two Irish bishops resigned on Christmas Day, joining two others who had quit since a government report in November revealed how Dublin church leaders had shielded pedophile priests from the law.

Terence McKiernan, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, said the report detailed evidence that some accused priests in Ireland had been transferred to parishes in the United States.

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  1. Guess who found his work glasses!

    óò

    • TMC on December 30, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    It’s only a revolutionary tax if it applies to everybody.

    • TMC on December 30, 2009 at 10:30 pm

     Afghan suicide blast kills eight U.S. civilians

    KABUL (Reuters) – Eight American civilians were killed in a suicide bombing at a military base in southeastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, one of the highest foreign civilian death tolls in an insurgent attack in the eight-year war.

    The explosion was at a military base in Khost province, near the border with Pakistan, U.S. officials said. The base is also a center for civilians working on reconstruction projects.

    “We can confirm that there was an explosion in Khost province and eight Americans have been killed,” said one U.S. official in Kabul.

    Some people, none of them U.S. or NATO troops, were wounded in the explosion at Forward Operating Base Chapman, defense officials said, but did not give more details.

    Asked whether the suicide blast occurred inside the base, one official said: “That’s my understanding.”

    Attacks in Afghanistan this year have spiraled to their highest levels since the Taliban were overthrown by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in late 2001.

    Civilian and military casualty tolls have reached record levels this year, with suicide attackers even targeting United Nations employees at a guesthouse in Kabul, killing five and wounding several others.

    • TMC on December 30, 2009 at 10:35 pm

     Errant Chinese smoker stops world’s fastest train

    BEIJING (Reuters Life!) – The world’s fastest train hit its first speed bump in the form of a disobedient smoker less than a week after it began running in southern China.

    A cigarette triggered an alarm that forced a two-and-a-half hour stoppage, nearly as long as the train takes to cover the 1,100 kilometer (684 mile) distance between Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, and the central city of Wuhan.

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