ISRAEL - PALESTINIANS: At least three rockets have been fired into northern Israel from
Lebanon -- on the 13th day of Israel's offensive against Hamas in the
Officials say the rockets fell around the town of Nahariya today,
south of the Lebanese border, slightly wounding two people. The Israeli
army says it returned fire into Lebanon, aiming at the source of the
The Lebanese government condemned the attack and said it is trying to determine who launched the rockets.
Lebanon's Information minister said he does not believe the Lebanese-militant group, Hezbollah, is responsible.
RUSSIA - EUROPE - GAS: Russian and Ukrainian energy chiefs have met for the first time since
December to try to resolve a dispute that has cut off gas supplies to
much of Europe.
There was not immediate word on the outcome of today's
talks in Moscow. More discussions are scheduled today with
representatives from the European Union.
The standoff has resulted in a complete shut off of gas deliveries to
Ukraine and many European countries who get their gas from pipelines
running across Ukraine.
Russia has accused Ukraine of stealing gas meant for Europe.
US - LAOS - MILITARY ATTACHE: A Defense Attaché Office was
officially opened on December 5 at the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane. The
agreement to exchange military attaches between the United States of
America and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic was first announced in
2007. The new U.S. Defense Attache, Army Lieutenant Colonel James
McAden, met with senior officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and Ministry of National Defense as part of the DAO opening. U.S.
Ambassador to Lao PDR Ravic R. Huso also hosted a December 5 reception
in honor of the Defense Attaché Office opening.
CHINA - EMPLOYMENT: China's government has announced new measures aimed at helping the
country's recent college graduates obtain employment amid a slowing
Prime Minister Wen Jiabao held a meeting with the country's State
Council or cabinet on Wednesday, to discuss offering subsidies, social
insurance and loan repayment to graduates who decide to work in rural
areas of China.
The government is also offering incentives to companies that hire those
who recently received their degrees. Favorable tax and loan policies
will also be in place to encourage university graduates to start their
ASIA - GREEN JOBS: Japan and South Korea have announced plans to create tens-of-thousands
of new jobs aimed at boosting the economy while protecting the
The Japanese environment ministry says it is preparing a so-called
"Green New Deal Plan" to create at least one million new jobs in
energy-saving and other environment-friendly technologies.
The plan could include incentives to encourage the production and
purchase of electric cars and energy-efficient household electronics.
South Korea's government Tuesday also unveiled a so-called Green New
Job Creation Plan, expected to create 960-thousand new jobs.
OBAMA - ECONOMY: U.S. President-elect Barack Obama will unveil the details of his
massive economic stimulus proposal in a speech today at a
Mr. Obama is expected to call for swift congressional passage of the
plan, which is expected to cost as much as 800-billion dollars. The
package will include spending on scores of public works projects,
including roads, bridges and schools, as well as health care and
energy. The plan also provides tax cuts for businesses and
middle-income Americans. The incoming president had hoped to have the
package ready for his
signature when he is sworn-in on January 20th.
SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka's military says troops have captured more territory from
Tamil Tiger rebels in the country's north, a day after the government
reinstated a ban on the group.
The defense ministry says soldiers have moved their offensive
southward, taking over the town of Pallai in Jaffna peninsula early
today. Also today, Sri Lankan military officials say war
planes bombed two rebel boats anchored in a lagoon in the north.
Government troops intensified their push into rebel territory last
week, capturing the rebel capital, Kilinochchi.
BIG PINK LIZARD: Scientists studying wildlife on the Galapagos Islands, which are famed
for inspiring Charles Darwin to theorize about evolution, say they have
unexpectedly discovered a new type of lizard: a great big pink iguana.
Italian researchers published their findings in a science journal this
week, saying the pink iguana averages more than a meter in length and
its DNA varies significantly from the two types of yellow land iguanas
living in the area.
The researchers said they are surprised no one had discovered the pink
iguana before, because the islands are a popular area for study.
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