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2006 December


Dec 26 2006 US Urges Halt to War in Somalia

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is urging a halt to conflict in Somalia that has intensified since neighboring Ethiopia launched air strikes on the country’s two main airports and sent ground troops into Somali territory.  Ethiopia’s military intervention is aimed at propping up the weak Somali government, which is challenged by a powerful Islamic militia.The […]


Dec 25 2006 Bush Honors Armed Forces at Christmas

WASHINGTON - President Bush is spending the long Christmas weekend in seclusion with his family at Camp David - the presidential mountain retreat.
The president rose early for a Christmas ritual - a series of calls to members of the armed services. He spoke with ten servicemen and women in all, including two from each branch […]


Dec 25 2006 Ethiopian Jets Bomb Airport In Mogadishu Somalia

NAIROBI - Ethiopian fighter jets bombed parts of the main airport in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Monday. The strike is the first direct attack on the seat of the country’s powerful Islamist movement, which has declared a holy war on Ethiopia for its military support of the rival secular Somali interim government.
Details of the […]


Dec 25 2006 Iran, North Korea Nuclear Ambitions Concerns World

WASHINGTON (RFE/RL) – The spread of nuclear weapons continues to be a major concern for the world community, and events in 2006 did little to dampen fears. The main crises are over the purported nuclear-arms ambitions of Iran and the known nuclear-weapons program of North Korea.
And, as stalemates over both situations continue, many worry that […]


Dec 24 2006 Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani Killed in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani, who was an associate of Taliban head Mullah Omar, was killed on Tuesday following a U.S. air strike in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. He is the highest ranking Taliban official to have been killed or captured since the invasion in 2001.
Colonel Tom Collins claims that this is a […]


Dec 24 2006 Security Situation Deteriorates in Baghdad

BAGHDAD- The security situation in Baghdad continues to deteriorate as sectarian violence grows.  Yet ordinary Iraqis, be they Sunni or Shi’ite, say they are fed up with their government for not acting against militias and terrorist groups.Every day Iraqis are found bound, blindfolded and shot in the streets of the capital, while others are victims […]


Dec 24 2006 Bush, Rice Meet With Robert Gates on Iraq

WHITE HOUSE - U.S. President George Bush has met with top advisers to plan what he says will be a new way forward in the war in Iraq.
President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Defense Secretary Robert Gates who is just back from three days in Baghdad.
National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley joined […]


Dec 24 2006 Iran Rejects UN Nuclear Resolution

UNITED NATIONS (RFE/RL) — Iran has swiftly rejected the United Nations Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry called the resolution an “invalid” and “extralegal act” outside the bounds of the UN’s charter, and vowed to continue with what it called its “peaceful nuclear plans.”
Iran’s UN ambassador, Javad Zarif, […]


Dec 24 2006 UN Approves Nuclear Sanctions on Tehran

UNITED NATIONS (RFE/RL) — The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a binding resolution that calls on Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment activities and to comply with its obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In the resolution, the 15-member council directs all states to prevent the supply or sale to Iran of any materials […]


Dec 23 2006 Somalia Declares War on Ethiopia

NAIROBI - The leader of the Somalia’s powerful Islamist movement, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, says his country is now in a state of war with neighboring Ethiopia, fueling international concerns that it may be too late to avert a potentially catastrophic war in the Horn of Africa. 
When Sheikh Aweys declared on Thursday that all Somalis […]


Dec 23 2006 Witnesses Say Ethiopia Moving Tanks Into Somalia

WASHINGTON - Witnesses in Somalia say Ethiopia is moving tanks and other reinforcements into the area where Somalia’s Islamists have been battling pro-government troops.
The International Committee of the Red Cross says dozens of people have been killed and at least 200 wounded during four days of fighting in southern Somalia.
The Islamists and the Ethiopian-backed government […]


Dec 22 2006 Rocky Balboa Receives Praise from Faith Community

Rocky Balboa, Infused With Faith And Values And A Family-Focused Plot, Opens With Overwhelming Response From Faith Community And Church Leaders 
LOS ANGELES, CA (ANS) – In a movie that some are calling a powerful allegory of faith, Sylvester Stallone returns as Rocky Balboa, for the sixth and final episode of the “Rocky” series, telling the […]


Dec 21 2006 Bethlehem is the Birthplace of Jesus Christ

BETHLEHEM - Every year at this time, Christians around the world turn their attention to Bethlehem, a small city in the West Bank where, according to Christian tradition, Jesus Christ was born.  Christians have lived in Bethlehem for centuries, but now many are leaving.  A bloody Palestinian uprising over the past few years and the […]


Dec 21 2006 Man Sentenced for Superbowl Ticket Scam

WORCESTER — A Massachusetts man was sentenced in federal court today on wire and mail fraud charges for a scheme in which he advertised Superbowl tickets over the Internet, collected approximately $255,000 from customers, and then never provided either the tickets or refunds.
United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Peter Zegarac, Postal Inspector in Charge […]


Dec 21 2006 Al-Qaida’s Ayman al-Zawahri Vows Terrorist Attacks

CAIRO - Al-Qaida’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, has vowed continued terrorist attacks and says the United States is negotiating with the wrong people in its quest to end the violence in Iraq.  In excerpts of a videotape broadcast on al-Jazeera television, Zawahri also said that elections will not free Palestinian land from Israeli occupation. 
In the latest […]


Dec 21 2006 Bush to Increase Size of Military to Combat Extremists

PENTAGON - President Bush says he wants to increase the size of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps because he believes the United States is at the beginning of a long struggle between competing ideologies.  And his new defense secretary said in Baghdad the increase is needed because of the many and varied missions the […]


Dec 21 2006 President Bush: No Direct Talks With Iran

WHITE HOUSE - U.S. President George Bush says there will be no direct talks with Iran until it stops enriching uranium.  A bipartisan panel studying U.S. policy in Iraq has urged the president to include Tehran in discussions about finding a new way forward in Iraq. 
President Bush says he has made it perfectly clear to Iran […]


Dec 21 2006 Bush to Add More Permanent Troops to US Military

WASHINGTON (RFE/RL) — For the past six years, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld argued successfully for a streamlined military that relied on advanced technology and intelligence gathering to keep the number of soldiers to a minimum.
Now Rumsfeld is gone, and President George W. Bush is considering a new strategy. At a news conference today, Bush […]


Dec 21 2006 Turkmenistan President Saparmurat Niyazov Dies

MOSCOW (RFE/RL) — Following the announcement of the death of Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov, Deputy Prime Minister Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has been named acting head of state, RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service reported.
Turkmen State television already announced earlier that Berdymukhammedov had been selected to lead preparations for Niyazov’s state funeral.
“In accordance with Turkmenistan’s customs a state commission has […]


Dec 20 2006 Descendants of African Ancestry Connect

WASHINGTON - Many people of African ancestry feel a strong tie to the continent, and there are a number of efforts to help them realize that connection. One was a recent conference in Hamilton, Bermuda. The keynote speaker was Nigerian author and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka. VOA English to Africa Service reporter Angel Tabe asked […]


Dec 20 2006 Heavy Fighting Breaks Out in Somalia

NAIROBI - In Somalia, heavy fighting has broken out between Islamists and interim government forces in several towns near the government’s outpost of Baidoa.  The fighting comes in the wake of an Islamist threat to launch a major attack if Ethiopian troops did not leave Somalia by Tuesday.
The fighting on Wednesday flared in the towns […]


Dec 20 2006 President Bush Predicts Tough Year in Iraq

WHITE HOUSE - President Bush is predicting another tough year ahead in Iraq.  Mr. Bush says many options are under consideration to quell the violence, including a possible surge in U.S. troop levels.
President Bush says 2006 was a difficult time for U.S. troops in Iraq and the Iraqi people. He says 2007 will entail more […]


Dec 20 2006 Middle Eastern Christian Leaders Issue Worldwide Call to Intercession

By Michael Ireland
Special Correspondent, ASSIST News ServiceMIDDLE EAST (ANS) – A worldwide call to prayer has been received from Christian leaders in the Middle East. A group of Arab Christian leaders in the Middle East, in an e-mail obtained by ANS, say they have some strategic insight as to a root stronghold of Islam. It […]


Dec 20 2006 Nigerian Church Under Immediate Threat From Authorities

By Michael Ireland
Special Correspondent, ASSIST News ServiceKANO STATE, NIGERIA (ANS) – A church in Nigeria has been threatened with closure if it does not accept an offer of compensation in return for the seizure of its property. If they refuse, they could lose everything. According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a HEKAN (Combined Churches of […]


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