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2009 December


Dec 31 2009 Golfer Tiger Woods Looses AT&T Sponsorship

WASHINGTON - U.S. telecommunications giant AT&T says it has ended its sponsorship deal with world number one golfer Tiger Woods, who is taking a leave of absence from competition after admitting to marital infidelities.
An AT&T statement Thursday said the company would no longer sponsor Woods, but it would continue to sponsor the AT&T National PGA […]


Dec 31 2009 US Airport Full Body Screenings Raise Privacy Issues

WASHINGTON - Last week’s foiled airline bombing plot by a Nigerian man who hid explosives in his clothing has renewed debate in the United States as to how extensive and invasive passenger screening should be at U.S. airports. A few major airports already possess machines that can take detailed, full-body images, but Congress has not […]


Dec 31 2009 US Treasury Bails Out GMAC Financial

WASHINGTON - The U.S. government is taking a controlling stake in GMAC Financial Services by providing $3.8 billion in fresh aid to the company, which is the former financing arm of U.S. auto maker General Motors.
The Treasury Department Wednesday said the new aid, which comes from a taxpayer-financed bailout fund, is less than the roughly […]


Dec 31 2009 Deadly Blast In Afghanistan Kills Eight Americans

KABUL - The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a suicide blast in eastern Afghanistan that killed eight Americans Wednesday.  Employees of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency are reported to be among the dead.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said Thursday that the attack on a U.S. base in Khost province was carried out by an Afghan army […]


Dec 30 2009 Obama Administration Suffers Homeland Security Failure

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that a “systemic failure” in security allowed the attempted Christmas Day attack on a Northwest Airlines flight. Mr. Obama said information that could have prevented the would-be bomber from boarding the plane did not get the attention it deserved.
President Obama said Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should have been […]


Dec 30 2009 Al Qaida Claims Failed Airliner Attack

WASHINGTON - Authorities in Yemen say the Nigerian man accused of trying to destroy a U.S. jetliner last week lived in Yemen for months, and was in the country as recently as this month.
The Yemeni Foreign Ministry says 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was in Yemen from early August to early December.  The ministry says he […]


Dec 29 2009 Britain: Nigerian Man Was On Security Watch List

LONDON - The British government has confirmed that the young Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight on Christmas Day was refused entry into Britain earlier this year and his name was added to a so-called watch list. 
Somehow, somewhere, security officials did not pick up on the information at their disposal […]


Dec 29 2009 China Executes Mentally Ill British Citizen

BEIJING - China has executed a British man with reported mental health problems for drug smuggling, despite last minute appeals by the British government and his relatives.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown condemned Akmal Shaikh’s execution on Tuesday, saying he was “appalled and disappointed” that multiple requests for clemency were ignored.
Fifty-three-year-old Shaikh was arrested in China’s […]


Dec 29 2009 Israel To Build Apartments In East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM - Israel plans to build nearly 700 new apartments in disputed East Jerusalem, defying demands by the United States and the Palestinian Authority for a freeze on settlement construction. 
While Israel has imposed a partial freeze on construction in the West Bank, government spokesman Mark Regev says that does not apply to Jerusalem, which Israel […]


Dec 29 2009 US Holiday Shoppers Spread Good Cheer

WASHINGTON - New figures released Monday show that holiday shoppers in the U.S. spent a little more compared to last year.  Mastercard, which compiled the data, says retail sales rose 3.6 percent from November until Christmas day, up sharply from a 2.3 percent drop for the same time last year. 
A winter storm that slammed the […]


Dec 28 2009 Nigerian Charged For Bomb Attempt On Airliner

WASHINGTON - U.S. authorities have charged a Nigerian man with trying to blow up a plane on its descent into the city of Detroit on Friday.  The man, who comes from a prominent Nigerian family, was read the charges in a hospital Saturday, where he is being treated for burns. 
U.S. District Judge Paul Borman read […]


Dec 28 2009 Abdul Malik al-Houthi Killed In Yemen

CAIRO - A Yemeni government Web site says the leader of Yemen’s Zaidi Shi’ite rebels may have been fatally wounded in a recent government airstrike.
A message on a Defense Ministry Web site Sunday says there are increasing reports about the death of Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.  The Web site says there are reports that he was severely […]


Dec 28 2009 Percy Sutton Dies At 89

NEW YORK  - African-American lawyer and politician Percy Sutton has died at age 89.
Sutton was born the son of an ex-slave in Texas and went on to become one of New York City’s most powerful voices.
As a young man, Sutton hid on a passenger train to make his way to New York. He became a […]


Dec 27 2009 Security Forces Clash With Protestors In Tehran

TEHRAN - Eyewitnesses are reporting that crowds clashed with Iranian security forces in parts of Tehran and several provincial cities, Saturday.  Police reportedly swung batons at protesters, smashing car-windows and fired teargas and pepper spray to try and disperse crowds.
Bitter clashes broke out in the Iranian capital Tehran Saturday between thousands of protesters and security […]


Dec 27 2009 Israeli Commandos Kill Palestinian Gunmen In Nablus

JERUSALEM - Six Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the deadliest violence in months.
Dozens of jeeps carrying masked Israeli commandos rolled into the West Bank town of Nablus before dawn and surrounded the homes of three Palestinian gunmen. After a standoff, troops stormed inside and killed the wanted men.
The army said they were […]


Dec 26 2009 Queen Elizabeth Pays Tribute To British Forces

LONDON - Queen Elizabeth, the symbolic head of the British military, speaks of the loss felt by many, in this, the deadliest year to date for British forces in Afghanistan.
In her annual Christmas message, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth the Second has paid tribute to those serving in her country’s armed forces.
The Queen, the symbolic head of […]


Dec 26 2009 Taliban Releases Video Of Captured US Soldier

WASHINGTON - The Taliban has released a new video that purportedly shows a U.S. soldier who was captured in Afghanistan almost six months ago. The video was sent to various media organizations on Friday, along with a demand for a prisoner exchange.
In this new video, a young man who identifies himself as Private Bowe Bergdahl […]


Dec 26 2009 Nigerian Man Attempts To Blow Up US Jet Plane

WASHINGTON - The United States is increasing security for air travel across the country after a Nigerian man set off a small explosion aboard a flight bound for the U.S. city of Detroit.  White House officials are calling it “an attempted act of terrorism.”
The incident happened just about 20 minutes before Northwest Airlines Flight 253, […]


Dec 24 2009 Democrats Give Americans Forced Mandates For Christmas

CAPITOL HILL - The U.S. Senate has approved a hard-fought measure to overhaul the U.S. health care system. The vote will be followed by the difficult process of reconciling the Senate-passed bill with one approved by the House of Representatives, in order to get a final measure to President Barack Obama.
“The yeas are 60, the […]


Dec 23 2009 Obama Fails On Promise To Close Guantanamo Prison

WASHINGTON - The New York Times newspaper says the Obama administration may not be able to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and transfer terrorism suspects held there until 2011 at the earliest.
The administration announced plans last week to acquire an under-utilized state prison in the central state of Illinois to house […]


Dec 23 2009 Illinois Citizens Outraged At Obama Prison Plan

SPRINGFIELD - Supporters and opponents of a plan to transfer about 100 detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a prison in the U.S. state of Illinois attended a public hearing on the matter Tuesday.
While many residents in the area support the move because of the jobs they hope it will […]


Dec 23 2009 Republicans Warn Health Care Mandates Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate is on course for a final vote early Thursday on health care reform legislation after a week of wrangling and a series of procedural votes.  Democrats have been able to hold together a 60-vote majority required to pass the bill. But, difficult negotiations with the House of Representatives lie ahead, […]


Dec 23 2009 US Warns Iran Concerning Nuclear Deal Deadline

WHITE HOUSE - U.S. officials say time is running out for Iran to accept a deal designed to ease concern about its nuclear ambitions, and there are strong signs Tehran may let the end-of-year deadline slip by.  The White House is warning of real consequences if Iran refuses to comply.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has, in […]


Dec 22 2009 Michael Jackson Secret Files Released By FBI

WASHINGTON - More than 300 previously classified pages include investigation of man who threatened to kill pop star but no new information revealed about his death
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has released previously classified files related to pop star Michael Jackson, who died earlier this year.
The more than 300 pages from FBI files describe […]


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