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2009 January


Jan 31 2009 Michael Steele Elected Chairman Of Republican Party

WASHINGTON - U.S. Republicans have elected the first African-American to head their party’s national committee. Top Republicans from around the country chose former Maryland Lieutenant-Governor Michael Steele to be the next chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Steele is the first black American to hold the post and he will now become a leading spokesman and […]


Jan 31 2009 Bruce Springsteen To Entertain Super Bowl Halftime

TAMPA - Super Bowl Sunday is of course famous for the battle between two teams trying to win the National Football League championship. Over the years, the entertainment during halftime has grown to be an extravaganza of its own. For Super Bowl XLIII, American Rock & Roll icon Bruce Springsteen will play for an estimated […]


Jan 31 2009 Iraq Holds Provincial Elections

BAGHDAD - Iraqis are voting Saturday in elections that are seen as a crucial test of the country’s stability.
In the first provincial elections since 2005, Iraqis will pick representatives for 14 of the country’s 18 local councils. More than 14,000 candidates are vying for 440 seats.
Several mortars exploded near a polling station in the city […]


Jan 30 2009 Russia Boosts Ties With Castro

MOSCOW - Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro have met at the Kremlin, with officials from the two sides signing a series of agreements to boost cooperation.
The two leaders have agreed to bring the relationship between the former Cold War allies to the level of “strategic partnership.”  
Plans for cooperation include […]


Jan 30 2009 President Obama Signs Fair Pay Restoration Act

WHITE HOUSE - Barack Obama has signed the first legislation of his presidency: a bill that makes it easier for workers to sue for wage discrimination. The law counteracts a Supreme Court decision, and is strongly opposed by business groups.
The new law removes limits on the length of time a worker has to file a […]


Jan 30 2009 US Military Judge Rejects Obama Request

WASHINGTON - A U.S. military judge at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba has rejected President Barack Obama’s request to suspend a hearing for the alleged mastermind of the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.
Judge James Pohl denied a motion to suspend for 120 days the trial of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi citizen of Yemeni […]


Jan 30 2009 Republicans Oppose Democrat Spending Proposals

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama and majority Democrats are facing more resistance from congressional Republicans on economic recovery legislation. Republicans in the Senate, which will consider legislation after a House of Representatives, vote on Wednesday approving an $819 billion version, voiced opposition to spending proposals.
After the House approved its version with no support from minority […]


Jan 30 2009 North Korea Scraps All Agreements With Seoul

SEOUL - North Korea says it is scrapping all political and military agreements with South Korea.  This is the latest threat from Pyongyang in a series of increasingly hostile provocations directed at President Lee Myung-bak.  
The Korean Central News Agency, the official mouthpiece of the Pyongyang regime, released a statement Friday declaring that North Korea […]


Jan 29 2009 Liberia Suffers Vast Plague of Armyworm Caterpillars

WASHINGTON - The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says experts are in a “race against time” to stop a “vast plague” of Armyworm caterpillars in Liberia. The Liberian government on Monday declared the infestation a national emergency.
As the Armyworms continue their march, they devour vegetation and pollute wells and streams with excrement. If their advance […]


Jan 29 2009 French Citizens Hold Nation Wide Strike

PARIS - A nation-wide strike in France has severely disrupted air, rail and commuter service across the country. Hospitals have reduced staff, and teachers, civil servants, journalists and transportation workers have decided not to show up to work to protest the economic crisis and government reforms
The French are calling the day “Black Thursday” as a […]


Jan 29 2009 Iraq Expires License of Blackwater

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi government says U.S. security firm Blackwater is no longer authorized to operate in Iraq, where it provides protection to U.S. diplomats.
Baghdad has accused Blackwater security guards of unlawfully killing 17 Iraqi civilians in a 2007 Baghdad shooting.
Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul-Karim Khalaf said Thursday that Blackwater’s Iraqi license has expired and […]


Jan 29 2009 President Obama Meets Top Military Generals

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama visits the Pentagon to meet with top military officers, and a spokesman says the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be at the top of the agenda.
President Obama heard from combat commanders, mainly about Iraq, at a White House meeting last week. Now, he is going to meet with the […]


Jan 29 2009 Israeli Warplanes Strike Gaza Following Rocket Attacks

JERUSALEM - Israeli warplanes have carried out more airstrikes on militant targets in the Gaza Strip after militants fired two rockets into southern Israel.
Palestinian witnesses say Israeli aircraft struck the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis Thursday, wounding six Palestinians, including a man and several school children.
In other airstrikes since Wednesday, Israel has attacked what […]


Jan 29 2009 House Passes Stimulus Bill Without Republican Support

WASHINGTON - In an important victory for President Barack Obama, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved a $819 billion stimulus measure to help spur a recovery of the U.S. economy. No opposition Republicans supported the bill, saying it contains wasteful spending and that it will not stimulate the economy, while Democrats were mostly united […]


Jan 28 2009 US Reviews Policies Concerning Iran

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that Iran has a clear opportunity, with the new Obama administration now in office, to engage meaningfully with the United States and others in the world community. She added that the six powers trying to negotiate an end to Iran’s uranium enrichment program will meet […]


Jan 28 2009 US House Poised To Vote On Stimulus Bill

CAPITOL HILL - The House of Representatives is poised to approve an $825 billion stimulus measure sought by President Barack Obama to help spur a recovery in the U.S economy. Most House Republicans are expected to vote against the bill saying it contains wasteful spending, while Democrats are mostly united in support of the measure.

Despite […]


Jan 28 2009 Auschwitz Survivors Mark Holocaust

WARSAW - World War II Holocaust survivors gathered Tuesday in southern Poland to mark the 64th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.
The United Nations January 27 anniversary has been designated as the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Survivors, Polish government officials and foreign diplomats placed flowers and wreaths at camp monuments. More than […]


Jan 28 2009 Israeli Warplanes Bomb Gaza Smuggling Tunnels

JERUSALEM - Israeli officials confirm that their warplanes have bombed smuggling tunnels near the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt, following an upsurge in fighting between Israel and Gaza militants.
Israel says it struck the tunnels Wednesday in response to a militant bomb attack on Tuesday that killed an Israeli soldier near Israel’s border with Gaza. Witnesses […]


Jan 28 2009 US Troop Levels In Afghanistan Will Rise Sharply

WASHINGTON - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Afghanistan is the top military priority for the new administration of President Barack Obama that will require a further increase in U.S. troop levels this year and a stronger commitment by allied countries.
But Secretary Gates also told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that he would be […]


Jan 27 2009 African Union Condemns Islamic Group Al-Shabaab

WASHINGTON - The African Union has sharply condemned Monday’s reported takeover of the Somali parliament building in Baidoa and surrounding areas by Al-Shabaab Islamic insurgents. The Islamic group described by Washington as a terrorist organization promised to institute Sharia law shortly after taking over the town.    
Al-Shabaab took control of most of Baidoa with reportedly little […]


Jan 27 2009 Palestinian Militants Attack Israeli Soldiers Near Gaza

JERUSALEM - Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have detonated a bomb near Israeli soldiers patrolling the Israel-Gaza border, triggering a gunbattle between the two sides.
Arab media say Tuesday’s blast killed an Israeli soldier and wounded another. Israel’s military says the soldiers were attacked on the Israeli side of the border. Palestinian witnesses and medics […]


Jan 27 2009 President Obama To Meet Republicans On Economy

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama will travel to Capitol Hill Tuesday to meet with opposition Republican Party leaders in the U.S. House and Senate about his proposed $825 billion economic stimulus proposal.
Republican lawmakers have increasingly expressed opposition to the huge spending plan, which calls for about $250 billion in tax cuts and $550 billion […]


Jan 26 2009 Somali Piracy Damages Fishing Industry

NAIROBI - Following warnings from shipping companies on the impact of Somali piracy on the global shipping industry, tuna fishermen in the Indian Ocean say pirate activities are also affecting their multi-billion-dollar industry. But pirates may also be inadvertently playing the role of marine conservationists by preventing commercial over-fishing. 
The head of the Indian Ocean Tuna […]


Jan 26 2009 Yemen Investigates Gunfire Near US Embassy

SANAA - Police in the Yemeni capital Sanaa are investigating reports of gunfire near the U.S. embassy, hours after the embassy said it received a warning about an attack.
The shooting was reported Monday at a checkpoint outside the embassy. There are conflicting reports on the source of the gunfire, but officials said they are questioning […]


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