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January 2, 2007

United Airlines employees spot UFO at Chicago\’s O\’Hare Airport

United Airlines employees spot UFO at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

A group of United Airlines employees said they saw a mysterious, elliptical-shaped (saucer-shaped) UFO hovering over a terminal at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. The employees said that the UFO did not have any lights, and that after hovering over the airport’s terminal, it went into the clouds and disappeared. The employees said they were frustrated that their bosses, the United Airlines, and the FAA were not taking their report seriously.

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Report: U.S. tried to delay Hussein\’s execution

Report: U.S. tried to delay Hussein’s execution

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Saddam Hussein
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Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein in July 2004

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  • Profile: Saddam Hussein

On Friday, U.S. officials asked Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to delay the hanging of former dictator Saddam Hussein for two weeks, CNN reported on its website Tuesday.

The story, which CNN posted at 1:27 a.m. EST, cited “a member of the Iraqi parliament close to the prime minister.” The account has so far not been verified by other news agencies.

Saddam, a Sunni Muslim, was executed before dawn on Saturday.

American officials reportedly asked for the delay, fearing the execution could be perceived as “more about Shiite retribution and less about justice.”

Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, saw Saddam as his arch-nemesis and did everything he could to ensure the execution went off without a hitch, the Wall Street Journal reported on its front page Tuesday. Al-Maliki was sentenced to death in 1980 by the government of Sadam because of his activism in the Dawa party. Since then, he lived in exile in Iran, and later in Syria.

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Mob protests Saddam Hussein\’s execution

Filed under: Archived,Iraq,Politics and conflicts,Shia Islam,Sunni Islam — admin @ 5:00 am

Mob protests Saddam Hussein’s execution – Wikinews, the free news source

Mob protests Saddam Hussein’s execution

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Saddam Hussein
Recent news

Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein in July 2004

More info
  • Profile: Saddam Hussein

Sunnis upset over the hanging of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein began protesting Monday, the Associated Press reported.

A mob in Samara, a town in the Sunni-dominated region of Iraq, tore off pieces of a bombed-out Shiite shrine, called the Golden Dome, which was attacked by extremists 10 months ago. They also carried a mock coffin and photos of Hussein, a Sunni who was executed by the majority-Shiite government on Saturday.

Many were angered by a three-minute video, apparently shot on a cellphone and making its way around the Internet, that showed Hussein taunted by his Shiite executioners moments before he dropped to his death.

In the video, those gathered to witness Hussein’s execution could be heard chanting, “Muqtada! Muqtada! Muqtada!” for Muqtada Sadr, whose radical Shiite militia has been known to hunt down Sunni Arabs and kill them.

At least one photo taken by the Associated Press showed a protestor Monday with a hand covered in red, made to look like blood.

The protest followed Hussein’s burial the day before in his birthplace of Al Auja, where mourners also expressed outrage for the hanging. “Today they proved themselves that the trial and the execution were mere retaliation and not justice,” one mourner told the Los Angeles Times. “It is clear now against whom we should retaliate.”

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Lebanon delays presidential vote

Filed under: Archived,Lebanon,Middle East,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

Lebanon delays presidential vote – Wikinews, the free news source

Lebanon delays presidential vote

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Lebanon
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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Nabih Berri, Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament has delayed the presidential vote for an eleventh time since initial voting began on September 25.

The last vote was set for December 29 but has been rescheduled for January 12. A senior political source stated the reason for the delay was due to “complications in regional and international negotiations and the severing of domestic talks.”

Emile Lahoud’s presidency ended on November 23, leaving the country without a head of state for over a month. Under Lebanon’s power-sharing agreement known as the National Pact, the president must be a Maronite Christian. Both the pro-Western and pro-Syrian opposition parties have agreed on a compromise candidate; armed forces chief General Michel Suleiman, however senior civil servants are restricted from serving as President for two years after stepping down.

Earlier in the week, 13 parliamentary members drafted a one-time amendment that would allow Suleiman to take the position though Berri stated the change was not necessary and cited Article 74 of the Constitution which states that “in case of a presidential vacancy… parliament meets immediately to elect a new president, which excludes the [need for] amendment”.

Furthermore, both the Hezbollah opposition and majority coalition haven’t agreed on final power-sharing terms. Hezbollah has demanded more power in the Cabinet and a veto on major policies while the coalition wants Suleiman to be elected first and states that the cabinet make-up is a presidential decision.



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Iraqi government to investigate Saddam video

Iraqi government to investigate Saddam video

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Saddam Hussein
Recent news

Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein in July 2004

More info
  • Profile: Saddam Hussein

A phone video has surfaced in various Arab media outlets and also on video sharing websites such as YouTube that shows Saddam’s hanging uncensored. The video contained audio of some witnesses taunting Saddam with chants of “Muqtada” and of the former leader responding that his tormentors were being unmanly.

The taunts referred to Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric who is a main backer of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the Shiite leader who pushed for a quick execution of Saddam. The prime minister on Tuesday ordered an investigation into the conduct of Saddam Hussein’s execution in a bid to learn who among the witnesses taunted the former Iraqi leader in the last minutes of his life and leaked a cell phone video.

Sadiq al-Rikabi told Al-Hurra television that he does not know who leaked the video and that such an act “is wrong and should be investigated, and I agree that cellular telephones were taken from witnesses before they boarded the helicopter” to the execution site.

“I am full of hope that the results of the investigation will be announced, and the person who did this act should pay a price,” he said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki.

Munqith al-Faroon, a witness to Saddam’s execution said: “two top officials … had their mobile phones with them” and also that “I am certain that the chanting at the moment of the execution was not organized, and that those chanting were not being ordered to do so. The guards made a decision to do so by themselves. This is the truth. I shouted at them and ordered them to keep silent, my voice is very clear in the recording.”

In the leaked video one voice called: “Allah, bless those who pray for Muhammad and his descendants. Allah, pray for Muhammad and his descendants and may they bring us their help soon and curse their enemies and back their son Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada.”

Saddam then asked, “Is this manly?”

A voice responded, “To hell.”

Another voice called out, “Long live Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr” — a reference to the Dawa Party founder and Shiite cleric who was executed along with his sister by Saddam in 1980.

Then, a voice purportedly belonging to al-Faroon said: “Please no, this man is being executed, please no, I beg you no.”

Sunni Muslims have taken to the streets in mainly peaceful demonstrations in Sunni enclaves across the country. They are outraged by the video and do not think that Saddam should have been taunted by the guards.

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Calgary bars resist smoking ban

Filed under: Alberta,Archived,Canada,Crime and law,Health,North America — admin @ 5:00 am

Calgary bars resist smoking ban – Wikinews, the free news source

Calgary bars resist smoking ban

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Canada
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Calgary, Alberta and the southern Alberta city of Lethbridge became the eighth and ninth cities in Canada to ban smoking in bars and restaurants.

On October 18, 2006, Calgary City Council approved of the bylaw that bans smoking in public areas.

Exemptions were put in place for bingos, casinos, and establishments with smoking rooms until January 1, 2008. First time offenders will pay $200 in fines. A city bylaw boss said people who deliberately go against the law could pay $3,500 or more.

“Obviously, I am ecstatic about it,” said Robyn Hauck back in October, who is an anti-smoking activist. “For us to be going smoke free Jan. 1, with a few exceptions, I couldn’t be happier.”

However, the smoking ban which came into effect on New Years Day didn’t have much effect on some smokers.

“I don’t ever tell anyone else how to live so they [the politicians] shouldn’t tell me how to live,” said resident Doug Baum, who was surprised that he could still light up at the local pub. “Pubs like this one are the last places you can still go to have a smoke and enjoy yourself.”

Another bar allowed customers to smoke.

“Absolutely we’ll keep smoking because it’s not fair the exemptions make it discriminatory,” said Chris Daskas, who owns Filo’s Restaurant.

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Bush plans to roll out new Iraq strategy this week

Bush plans to roll out new Iraq strategy this week

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Iraq War
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U.S. President George W. Bush plans to announce his new strategy for Iraq sometime this week, according to a senior administration source quoted by the BBC.

That strategy will reportedly include a troop increase and will focus on securing Iraq rather than training Iraqi forces. Bush will reveal the strategy in a speech “within days,” according to the BBC. Its theme will be sacrifice. Other news agencies have yet to confirm the BBC report.

The announcement comes as Democrats are preparing to start back to work on Thursday in Washington as the new majority, having won many of their new seats by vowing to pull troops out of Iraq.

Bush’s new strategy would also prove to be a rebuke of the long-heralded Iraq Study Group report, which he commissioned. It nudged the president toward a policy of negotiations with countries like Iran and Syria, previously seen as enemies, and eventual withdrawal.

Bush met with advisers during December to decide how to proceed in Iraq. Before taking a vacation in Crawford, Tex., his spokesman said the announcement of a new strategy would come sometime after the New Year. Some have speculated that meant he would include in his State of the Union address to Congress expected later this month.

However, the timing of a speech this week may be pointed toward Capitol Hill anyway, as Democrats said they plan to largely sideline Bush’s Republican party from the first 100 hours of lawmaking as the new legislature convenes.

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Raymond van Barneveld wins PDC World Darts Championship

Filed under: Archived,Europe,Netherlands,Sports,United Kingdom — admin @ 5:00 am

Raymond van Barneveld wins PDC World Darts Championship

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Raymond “The Man” van Barneveld has won the PDC World Darts Championship 2007 in a thrilling final with Phil “The Power” Taylor. The match went to sudden death, which ‘Barney’ won 7-6. The match was held, as is the custom, at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet, Essex, eagerley watched by the “Power” fans and Barnevelds local support in the shape of the “Barney” army.

Barney fought his way back from 3-0 down, throwing 21 180’s in the process, taking the match right to the wire. Both players agreed that it was the best final they had ever played in.

Barney joined the PDC in February and capped his first year in style. Fans of the sport will be eagerly anticipating the next time the heavyweights may meet, the Holsten premier league, early February.

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Qatari proxy IP address temporarily blocked on Wikipedia

Filed under: Archived,Internet,Wikimedia Foundation — admin @ 5:00 am

Qatari proxy IP address temporarily blocked on Wikipedia

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wikipedia blocked editing by a proxy IP address [1] belonging to Internet users in the Middle Eastern kingdom of Qatar for a period of twelve hours due to persistent vandalism originating from the IP.

Only one provider of high-speed Internet access operates in Qatar, and this provider has configured its network such that all its users share the same single IP address. In most cases, a single IP address corresponds to one user or a small group of users in one building or school. Because of this single-address configuration, Wikipedia was not able to implement its usual countervandalism solution, the blocking of individual IPs or user accounts. Wikipedia said that the action was taken after 200 repeated vandalism edits of the articles on sex, the United States, and the birthday of the prophet Muhammad.

A spokesperson for Wikipedia, said: “Qatar has not been banned from Wikipedia. Apparently Qatar basically has only one ISP, and nearly all of its traffic shows as coming from a single IP address.”

Jimmy Wales, the Wikipedia founder, emphasized the temporary nature of the block, saying, “This IP number was temporarily blocked for less than 12 hours, and a block of an entire nation would go absolutely against Wikipedia policy.”

At 21:26 UTC (5:26 p.m. ET) a Wikipedia admin unblocked the IP address with the reason given as: “This IP is the address for the entire nation of Qatar; it should not be blocked.”

Qatar only has around 219,000 Internet users, and much less of that number would actually be affected by the block.

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Georgia Aquarium beluga whale euthanized

Filed under: Archived,North America,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Georgia Aquarium beluga whale euthanized

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The Georgia Aquarium announced that the beloved beluga whale, Gasper, was euthanized today. Gasper had suffered from osteomyelitis.

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