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"You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism." - Cindy Sheehan
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The QFG 2006 Agenda

This leatherbound pocket agenda includes a handy notepad as well as a double-page weekly view of all of the important events you need to remember. Moreover, it's in French, a subtle way to show your disapproval of the Bush Reich.

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Comment: Supplies are very limited - once they are gone, they are gone!

Jan 5,2006
JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was in serious condition Thursday after all-night surgery to stop "massive bleeding" from a life-threatening stroke. Doctors said he was transferred to intensive care with stable vital signs.

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Barry Chamish
5 January 2006
Item: Sharon is in the midst of a career-ending scandal when he is struck down by a life-threatening blood clot in his brain.

Item: A live Sharon will have to face prosecution for the Kern-Schlaff bribes, even in Israel's thoroughly corrupt legal system. A dead Sharon will not have to face prosecution. And that would be just fine for the creme de la creme of the country's political leadership.

Item: The prognosis is a living, or real, death.

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By Matthew Tostevin
Thu Jan 5, 2006 8:05 AM ET
LONDON - Setting off earthquakes is what Israel's Ariel Sharon has always done best. His final, dramatic disappearance from politics will be no exception.

It will shake Israel's political landscape to its core and its deeper effect may be to destroy his hope of ending decades of conflict with the Palestinians -- if only on his own uncompromising terms.

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By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 5, 2006; Page A12
The cerebral hemorrhage suffered by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon yesterday threatens to deprive the Bush administration of its closest working partner in the Middle East, casting doubt on President Bush's pledge to help create a Palestinian state before the end of his term.

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By Aaron Klein
Posted: January 4, 2006
JERUSALEM – Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip are watching the news regarding Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's deteriorating health carefully and will celebrate with Qassam rocket firings at Jewish towns if Sharon dies, terror leaders told WorldNetDaily.

One militant leader threatened the life of Sharon's temporary replacement, Deputy Minister Ehud Olmert, who was installed as prime minister just hours ago.

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Associated Press
Wed Jan 4, 8:26 PM ET
JERUSALEM - Discovery of an ancient village just outside Jerusalem has brought into question one of the strongest images of biblical times — the wholesale flight of Jews running for their lives after the Roman destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Just beneath the main road leading north from Jerusalem, archaeologists have found the walls of houses in a well-planned community that existed after the temple's destruction. It might lead to rewriting the history books if it was really Jewish.

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By Sami Jumaili and Ammar Alwani
January 5, 2005
KERBALA/RAMADI, Iraq - Two suicide bombers killed 120 people and wounded more than 200 in the Iraqi cities of Kerbala and Ramadi on Thursday in Iraq's bloodiest day for four months.

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The Independent
05 January 2006
A hotel at the gates to Mecca's Islamic shrines in Saudi Arabia collapsed today as millions of Muslims gathered in their holiest city for the annual hajj pilgrimage.

Pan-Arab satellite television broadcasters reported dozens were killed or injured.

The television reports said the Louloat al-Kheir, while security officials said the Al-Ghaza Hotel had collapsed.

The tragedy occurred early afternoon local time.

Millions of Muslim faithful are flooding into Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage that climaxes on Monday with the Eid al-Adha, a four-day feast.

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20:47:03 EST Jan 4, 2006
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - The emir of Dubai, Sheik Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, died Wednesday. He was 62.

Sheik Maktoum, who was also vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, died during a visit to Australia, the government said. Police in Australia said he died a resort on the Gold Coast in Queensland state. The body was expected to be flown home later Wednesday. Dubai declared 40 days of mourning.

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The Guardian
Thursday January 5, 2006
She had probably done this a dozen times before. Modern digital technology had made clandestine communications with overseas agents seem routine. Back in the cold war, contacting a secret agent in Moscow or Beijing was a dangerous, labour-intensive process that could take days or even weeks. But by 2004, it was possible to send high-speed, encrypted messages directly and instantaneously from CIA headquarters to agents in the field who were equipped with small, covert personal communications devices. So the officer at CIA headquarters assigned to handle communications with the agency's spies in Iran probably didn't think twice when she began her latest download. With a few simple commands, she sent a secret data flow to one of the Iranian agents in the CIA's spy network. Just as she had done so many times before.

Article continues
But this time, the ease and speed of the technology betrayed her. The CIA officer had made a disastrous mistake. She had sent information to one Iranian agent that exposed an entire spy network; the data could be used to identify virtually every spy the CIA had inside Iran.

Mistake piled on mistake. As the CIA later learned, the Iranian who received the download was a double agent. [...]

But it's worse than that. Deep in the bowels of the CIA, someone must be nervously, but very privately, wondering: "Whatever happened to those nuclear blueprints we gave to the Iranians?"

The story dates back to the Clinton administration and February 2000, when one frightened Russian scientist walked Vienna's winter streets. The Russian had good reason to be afraid. He was walking around Vienna with blueprints for a nuclear bomb.

To be precise, he was carrying technical designs for a TBA 480 high-voltage block, otherwise known as a "firing set", for a Russian-designed nuclear weapon. He held in his hands the knowledge needed to create a perfect implosion that could trigger a nuclear chain reaction inside a small spherical core. It was one of the greatest engineering secrets in the world, providing the solution to one of a handful of problems that separated nuclear powers such as the United States and Russia from rogue countries such as Iran that were desperate to join the nuclear club but had so far fallen short.

The Russian, who had defected to the US years earlier, still couldn't believe the orders he had received from CIA headquarters. The CIA had given him the nuclear blueprints and then sent him to Vienna to sell them - or simply give them - to the Iranian representatives to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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Thu Jan 5, 2006 9:32 AM ET
VIENNA - An Iranian delegation expected in Vienna to explain to the International Atomic Energy Agency Iran's decision to resume nuclear fuel research did not show up for a meeting on Thursday, the IAEA said.

The meeting was called off after the delegation did not appear, said IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming. The IAEA does not know why the Iranian delegation missed the appointment, and no new meeting has been scheduled, she said.

By Bill Gertz
January 5, 2006
A former National Security Agency official wants to tell Congress about electronic intelligence programs that he asserts were carried out illegally by the NSA and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

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Arianna Huffington
Thu Jan 5, 1:10 AM ET
President Bush and his minions keep offering up "new and improved" (though already disproved) defenses for the NSA domestic spying operation.

David Sirota offers a terrific breakdown of the shifts from "it was legal" to "we needed to act faster" to "the paperwork was too hard."

Now we have a new White House strategy: straight-up lying. (Here's what Holden had to say about it).

Of course, GOP loyalists have been quick to follow the administration's lead. In fact, over the holidays I ran into many prominent Republicans who dutifully mouthed the administration's talking points.

So, in case you, like me, run into Republicans in the course of your life -- or even if you only run into them on TV -- and feel the need for a quick response to set the record straight, here is a handy pocket guide.

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by James Ridgeway
Village Voice
January 4th, 2006 10:11 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With leaders of both parties compromised in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, questions now center around Republican Dennis Hastert, speaker of the House, who yesterday shed himself of tainted campaign contributions totaling $70,000. He gave the money to an unspecified charity.

In November of last year, the Washington Post described a fundraiser, held by Hastert, at one of Abramoff's restaurants. The party yielded Hastert $21,500 for his political action committee. While several lawmakers who received money from the fundraiser had already returned it, only yesterday did Hastert come forward.

"The speaker believes that while these contributions were legal, it is appropriate to donate the money to charity," a spokesman for the Illinois Republican, Ron Bonjean, said.

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by Anthony Wade
January 5, 2006
I have certainly written about Chris Matthews and his propensity for toeing the Republican Party line as well as using his show for a platform to excuse the abuses of the Bush administration and the GOP controlled Congress. It was just last month when Matthews exclaimed that “everyone likes this president except the real whack-jobs on the left.” Recently, Matthews has used his show to play softball with anyone willing to minimize the impending Jack Abramoff corruption scandal or try and turn it into a bipartisan event. Now it seems we know why.

Daily Kos is reporting today that Mr. Matthews has ties to Mr. Abramoff and the details of those ties presents ethical problems for someone pretending to be a journalist.

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Keith Gottschalk
December 27, 2005
Sorry to interrupt what has been a very entertaining election season in Canada this holiday period, but I regret to inform you that your neighbour's house is on fire.

As reported by Ron Hutcheson of the Knight Ridder new service on Tuesday: A defiant President Bush said he didn't need explicit permission from Congress or the courts to establish a secret domestic surveillance program to eavesdrop on suspected terrorists.

“We've got to be fast on our feet, quick to detect and prevent,” said Bush. “Do I have the legal authority to do so? The answer is, absolutely.”

What this means, I'm afraid, is that a dictatorship is being born on your southern border.

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By James Vicini
5 January 2006
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way on Wednesday for the Bush administration to transfer "enemy combatant" Jose Padilla from U.S. military custody to federal authorities in Florida to face criminal charges.

The order reversed a ruling by a U.S. appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, that had rejected the Justice Department's request to approve Padilla's transfer while his appeal of his military detention remained pending before the Supreme Court.

The high court's action does not resolve the key question in the case on whether President George W. Bush in the war on terrorism has the power to order American citizens captured in this country held in military jails as an enemy combatant.

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Thu Jan 5, 2006 3:05 AM ET
LONDON - The United States wants to develop a high-security prison in Afghanistan to hold terrorism suspects, including some transferred from the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, the Financial Times said on Thursday.

The U.S. government has chosen the site of a former Soviet-era prison near the capital, Kabul, to house the prisoners, the British newspaper reported.

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Wed Jan 4, 8:06 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO - An airline passenger with the words "suicide bomber" written in his journal was arrested when his plane arrived in San Jose, California, on Wednesday, but the words appeared to refer to music and he was later released, officials said.

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CBS News
NEW YORK, Jan. 3, 2006
In November 2004, a photo of a U.S. Marine made the front page of newspapers across the country. The picture is still one of the best-known images of the war. But the man himself has moved on, and is having trouble adjusting to civilian life.

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By Sarah Price Brown
Religion News Service
When Hannah Maxson started an intelligent design club at Cornell University last fall, a handful of science majors showed up for the first meeting. Today, the high-profile club boasts more than 80 members.

Until recently, the nationwide debate over whether intelligent design should be taught alongside evolution was centered primarily in public elementary and high-school science classes.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-05 14:38:11
Beijing, Jan. 5 (Xinhuanet)-- A married couple in California of the United States were arrested on Tuesday for leaving their 5 and 10-year-old sons home alone, police said.

Jacob Calero, 39, and Michelle De La Vega, 32 left their 10-year-old son Joshua home to care for his 5-year-brother, Jason, who is autistic when they celebrated the new year in Las Vegas for five days-- but got a dog-sitter for their puppies -- local police said.

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Posted: January 5, 2006
A California woman is the latest teacher suspected of raping a student, as 41-year old Sherry Brians is in custody for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 12-year old boy.

Brians, a third-year language-arts instructor at Buttonwillow School in Buttonwillow, Calif., was arrested yesterday and charged with committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child under the age of 14, a felony.

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Martha Stout, Ph.D.
Book Excerpts
Recently we have quoted from Martha Stout's book The Sociopath Next Door. This book should be required reading for every normal human being. We also reccommend Predators: Pedophiles, rapists, and other sex offenders by Anna C. Salter Ph.D., for everyone, particularly women and parents. What you don't know CAN hurt you and most particularly, your children. Save a life TODAY: Knowledge Protects!

Today, we would also like to bring to the attention of our readers another book by Dr. Stout. It is entitled The Myth of Sanity. The Myth of Sanity is about survivors of trauma including being traumatized by psychopaths or other pathological elements of our reality. Below are excerpts that we believe will serve as an introduction to further reading and research and even work on the self, with or without therapeutic intervention. It seems that the survivors of trauma have a lot to teach the rest of us about LIVING.

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Gwynne Dyer
Tuesday, December 27th 2005
Bolivia has had more presidents by far than any other country in South America, mainly because so many of them were overthrown long before their terms ended. They were also all white, even though the majority of Bolivia's population is "indigenous", descended wholly or in part from the Indians whose ancestors already lived there as subjects of the Inca empire at the time of the Spanish conquest five centuries ago. So what are the odds that Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, will survive a full term of office?

Morales, who won an absolute majority of the votes in the recent presidential election, faces not only the usual hazards of life as the president of South America's poorest country, but also the threat of American intervention to overthrow him. As a socialist whose declared goal is to "end the colonial state" and a leader of the coca farmers who promises to lift the ban on growing coca leaf, the crop from which cocaine is produced, he is deeply unpopular in Washington.

In the past, policies that are unpopular in the United States have proved to be bad for the president's health in a number of Latin American countries.

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by Derrick O'Keefe
January 2, 2006
The reign of TINA, There Is No Alternative, is beginning to come to an end.

In Bolivia, Evo Morales has swept into the presidency after years of popular mobilization; the long-suffering indigenous and poor majority is demanding an alternative economic and social order.

In Venezuela, seven years after Hugo Chavez first won power, the Bolivarian Revolution is demonstrating an alternative path, powered by a people awakened to political action and in the process of transforming their society.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-05 10:05:55
CARACAS, Jan. 4 (Xinhuanet) -- A radioactive unit used in the oil industry was stolen last month in Venezuela, the second such theft within a month, the civil defense department in the eastern state of Azoategui said on Wednesday.

The capsule containing cesium-137 was part of a device used to measure the pressure in oil wells and was stolen on Dec. 27 from BJ Services of Venezuela, a private firm that was doing soil studies in the region, said Wolfgang Castillo, head of the state'scivil defense department.

Castillo asked the public to be alert to the possible danger of exposure to the radioactive material.

In 1987, four people died and some 250 suffered from radiation contamination in Brazil after being exposed to cesium-137 in an abandoned container.

On Dec. 18, part of a medical X-ray equipment was stolen in Yaracuy, central Venezuela, but was recovered on Dec. 29. 2006-01-05 19:45:35
LIMA, Jan. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- The Peruvian government announced on Wednesday that it will recall its ambassador to Venezuela, in response to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's public support to Peruvian leftist presidential candidate Ollanta Humala.

Hugo Chavez's public support for Ollanta Humala is seen as the intervention in the internal affairs of Peru, the Peruvian Foreign Ministry said in a press release on Wednesday.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-05 09:13:22
BEIJING, Jan. 5 -- China took another step towards currency flexibility on Wednesday by letting banks set its daily opening foreign-exchange rate, a change that might allow the yuan to move much faster than previously possible, the Reuters reported.

The new system, the latest in a long line of policies aimed at gradually freeing up the yuan, accompanied the introduction of open over-the-counter trading that will eventually replace the current system of anonymous and automatic order matching.

The changes, announced late on Tuesday, went into operation on Wednesday.

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Last Updated Wed, 04 Jan 2006 14:52:38 EST
CBC News
Canadians are feeling optimistic about the country's economy, but the picture changes dramatically when it comes to their personal expectations, a new poll indicates.

About two-thirds of the 1,260 people polled in early December said they believed the economy is in a period of strong or moderate economic growth, the Pollara polling company reported Wednesday.

But only 11 per cent said they expect their household income will rise more than inflation this year, while a third said they will lose ground and just over half anticipate that they will break even.

All those figures are better than in the poll taken a year ago; the groups expecting they will do better or keep pace are larger, while the proportion expecting to lose ground has shrunk.

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Last Updated Wed, 04 Jan 2006 17:49:12 EST
It was a Cadillac of a year for General Motors Canada, and for some of the other companies that sell luxury cars.

But it was a record-breaking year for sales of the cars made by companies based outside Canada.

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants calculated the Canadian market grew 3.2 per cent last year, to 1.58 million vehicles. Import sales jumped 5.1 per cent, three times the growth rate of sales of the North American brands produced by General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler.

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Comment: Even in bad economies, luxury items still sell well. What does that tell us?

Thursday, January 5, 2006
ANKARA, Turkey -- A 15-year-old girl has died of bird flu in Turkey, becoming the country's second person to succumb to the virus, health officials said Thursday.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-05 19:08:25
LONDON, Jan. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Britain launched a three-month nationwide consultation on Thursday on proposals for an action plan in tackling human trafficking.

Under the plan, some victims of human traffickers could be given an automatic right to stay in Britain. Illegal immigrants could be given special residence permits when trafficking scams are uncovered, said the Home Office.

It is among a series of measures being considered to combat the trade in both children and adults.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-05 02:33:32
ROME, Jan. 4 (Xinhuanet) -- Italy plans to build a large telescope on the moon that will expand knowledge of the moon, Earth and the universe, Italian News Agency ANSA reported here on Wednesday.

The telescope will be built by robots and positioned in a lunarcrater to give a new perspective on the Earth, said the head of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Sergio Vetrella.

The telescope will also be able to look deeper into space than Earth-based equivalents.

The project will provide new information on the moon's resources, Vetrella added.

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From CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman
Thursday, January 5, 2006
MADRID, Spain -- A small bomb exploded at a vacant hotel in Spain's northern Zaragoza province Thursday, following a warning call in the name of the Basque separatist group ETA.

There were no reported injuries, a government official told CNN.

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Wed Jan 4, 10:34 PM ET
PARIS - France will create a special police force to ensure security for railway passengers after a band of marauding youths robbed and sexually assaulted train travelers in southeast France, the interior minister said Wednesday.

Nicolas Sarkozy, responding to concerns about the Jan. 1 rampage, told TF1 television that a national railway police force will be in place this year, with 1,000 to 1,500 officers.

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Comment: Isn't it amazing how the "racaille" keep playing right into Sarkozy's hand?

By John Lichfield in Paris
The Independent
05 January 2006
Opposition politicians have accused the French government of covering up a sustained attack by a gang of 20 young people on a crowded train near Nice on New Year's Day.

The group robbed and sexually assaulted passengers at knifepoint, smashed windows and slashed seats. No information on the incident was released by the authorities, who announced that he New Year festivities had passed off without a widely feared resumption of the violence seen in deprived suburbs in November.

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Comment: First Sarkozy hushes up the attacks, and then he blames the SNCF!

January 5, 2005
PARIS - French President Jacques Chirac announced on Thursday plans to build a prototype fourth-generation nuclear reactor, reinforcing France's determination to remain a world leader in atomic energy.

In a New Year address to business leaders and unions, Chirac said he had "decided to immediately launch work by the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) on a prototype fourth-generation reactor, to go into service in 2020".

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Thursday, 5 January 2006, 09:04 GMT
A rapid rise in global temperature 55 million years ago caused major disruption to ocean currents, new research shows.

Scientists found that the disruption took 140,000 years to reverse.

Writing in the journal Nature, the scientists say the phenomenon may be important for understanding the impact of present day climate warming.

Recent research suggests north Atlantic currents which bring heat to northern Europe may be weakening.

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Last Updated Wed, 04 Jan 2006 12:57:45 EST
CBC News
Overfishing has driven several species of deep-water fish in the Atlantic to the brink of extinction in a single generation, Canadian biologists have found.

Populations have plummeted so rapidly that two commercially fished species, the roundnose grenadier and onion-eye grenadier, and three other species, should be classified as critically endangered – a higher rating than for the giant panda and Bengal tiger.

Between 1978 and 1984, catch data from research trawl surveys showed the relative abundance of the five species declined between 87 per cent and 98 per cent in Canadian waters, the researchers found.

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By Dwi Prasetyo
Thu Jan 5, 2006 6:25 AM ET
SIJERUK, Indonesia - Rescuers on Thursday searched for possibly hundreds of victims buried under a massive landslide that crashed into a mountainous village in Indonesia's Central Java province.

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Associated Press
January 6, 2005
MOUNT KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK, Tanzania - Rocks and boulders tumbled down Mount Kilimanjaro and crashed into tents where tourists were sleeping, killing three American climbers and seriously injuring two, officials said Thursday.

The climbers were on Kilimanjaro's treacherous Western Breach before beginning their final ascent of Africa's highest mountain.

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Comment: "The possible explanation I hear on this could be earth movement or vibration." There seems to be an awful lot of seismic activity around the world lately...

Thursday January 5, 11:57 PM
Violent blizzards have forced the evacuation of 97,000 people in a largely Muslim region of western China, as the nation braced for its worst winter in 20 years.

Sixty centimeters (two feet) of snow covered large parts of Xinjiang, a vast desert territory near China's border with Central Asia, said Wang Zhenyao, a disaster relief official with the civil affairs ministry.

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Last Updated Thu, 05 Jan 2006 05:29:16 EST
CBC News
Turkey confirmed on Thursday that a second teenager there has died of a suspected case of bird flu – in what could be the first human cases outside of China and southeast Asia.

The 15-year-old girl who died is from the same family whose 14-year old son died over the weekend, officials said.

A third child in the family is also suspected of having bird flu.

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January 5, 2005



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