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Blair calls talk of Iran dialogue "overstated"
16 Dec 2006 source: today.reuters.co.uk

CAIRO (Reuters) - Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Saturday he thought talk of the West opening dialogue with Iran and Syria on how to defuse regional tensions and help stem violence in Iraq had been "overstated". Blair criticised Tehran for backing forces that are seeking to destabilise the government of Lebanon, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and are fomenting violence in Iraq. He di ...


Paris didn't blog about Britney, spokesman says
16 Dec 2006 source: cnn.com

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Socialite Paris Hilton fell victim to a hoaxer who wrote a widely publicized Web posting in her name defending the "partying ethics" of her new friend, singer Britney Spears, Hilton's spokesman said on Friday. But spokesman Elliot Mintz said whoever wrote the entry this week on Hilton's page on the popular social networking site MySpace.com "cr ...


Bayh in, then out of race for White House
16 Dec 2006 source: cnn.com

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Less than two weeks after filing papers to set up an exploratory committee for a possible bid for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential race, Sen. Evan Bayh has dropped out of the running. "After talking with family and friends over the past several days, I have decided that this is not the year for me to run for President," the Indiana Democrat said in ...


Liverpool go third as Portsmouth hold Arsenal
16 Dec 2006 source: today.reuters.co.uk

LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool moved up to third in the Premier League after they won 3-0 at Charlton Athletic and rivals Arsenal could only draw 2-2 with Portsmouth after being two goals down on Saturday. An early penalty from Xabi Alonso and late goals by Craig Bellamy and captain Steven Gerrard gave Liverpool an easy victory over a Charlton side rooted in the relegation zone. A third consecutiv ...


Early passengers 'clog airports'
16 Dec 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

British Airways is warning Christmas passengers at Heathrow not to be "too early" for flights because they are causing congestion at the airport. Travellers taking short haul journeys are being told not to turn up more than two hours before their flight. BA said early passengers were causing problems by "milling around" the concourse before check-in opens. The airline said memories of the summer's security delays and busy roads were causing people to turn up early. The airport operator BAA i ...


First Spanish flight lands in Gibraltar
16 Dec 2006 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Dominique Searle GIBRALTAR (Reuters) - The first flights between Madrid and Gibraltar started on Saturday, following a landmark deal between Spain and Britain who have disputed ownership of the Rock on Spain's south coast for three centuries. The daily service by Spanish flag carrier Iberia comes after a September agreement between Spain, Britain and Gibraltar in September to cooperate to solve ...


Blair urges West to back Abbas
16 Dec 2006 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Katherine Baldwin CAIRO (Reuters) - Prime Minister Tony Blair urged governments across the world to support Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after he called for early elections to break a deadlock with his Hamas rivals. Blair, on a peace drive in the Middle East, said he believed Abbas was serious in saying he plans to organise new elections and that it was the duty of world leaders to back  ...


Crash body undiscovered for hours
16 Dec 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

A pedestrian's body lay undiscovered for five-and-a-half hours after a runaway van crashed into him and a house in south Wales, it has emerged. Wilfred Rogers, 85, was only found after the house in Abertillery was made safe and the homeowner allowed back in. Colin Morris, 30, who was not in his home at the time of the crash, found Mr Rogers' body in the kitchen later after picking up some belongings. But Gwent Police said it was initially thought no-one had been hurt. It is believed Mr Roger ...


Spain restores Gibraltar air link
16 Dec 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

The first direct passenger flights from Spain to Gibraltar have begun, marking a historic development in ties between Spain and the tiny British territory. A jet from Spanish carrier Iberia with senior officials on board flew from Madrid to Gibraltar airport, while a British flight headed the other way. Spain, which ceded Gibraltar to Britain in 1713 but still claims it, had blocked flights for nearly 30 years. Spain, the UK and Gibraltar signed a deal in September to restore air links. On ...


Japan upgrades defence's status
16 Dec 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

Japan's upper house of parliament has voted to upgrade the country's defence agency to a full ministry. The move is part of new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's drive to lift Japan's diplomatic presence and rethink its post-World War II role. The upper house also passed a bill that requires schools to teach patriotism in the classroom. Both moves have caused unease among Japan's Asian neighbours, who remember Japanese militarism last century. The bills now become law as they have already been pas ...


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