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01/08/06 World News: Doctors Conduct New Brain Scan on Sharon


Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon underwent a new brain scan today (Sunday) to help doctors determine when to bring him out of a medically-induced coma.
Doctors treating the Israeli leader at Hadassah hospital were assessing results of the scan, and hospital officials said they planned an announcement later today.
Medical experts say a brain scan conducted Saturday indicated a very slight improvement in Mr. Sharon's condition, but that he is not out of danger.

French and Iraqi officials say a French engineer kidnapped last month in Baghdad has been freed.
Iraq Interior Ministry officials and police say Bernard Planche was found today (Sunday) near a security checkpoint, west of Baghdad. Police say the kidnappers were in a car with the hostage and fled when they saw U.S. and Iraqi soldiers.
Mr. Planche was abducted Thursday from his home in Baghdad. The kidnappers had threatened to kill him if France did not end what they called its "illegitimate presence" in Iraq.

Millions of Muslims begin the annual hajj pilgrimage today (Sunday) in Saudi Arabia.
Nearly two-and-a-half million Muslim pilgrims are believed to be gathering in Mecca -- Islam's holiest city -- to take part in this year's hajj. Saudi officials are on alert to prevent another tragedy following the collapse Thursday of an aging hostel in Mecca that killed 76 people and injured 62 others.
The hajj is a requirement of all able-bodied Muslims at least once in a lifetime. White-robed men and women of many nationalities marched on foot or boarded buses to Mina today after dawn prayers.

Listen to our World News for details.

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