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Report: Castro makes New Year call
30 Dec 2006 source: cnn.com

HAVANA, Cuba (AP) -- Ailing leader Fidel Castro called the Chinese ambassador in Havana to wish his president Hu Jintao a happy New Year. The short story on the front page of the Communist Granma newspaper seemed aimed at ensuring Cubans and the world that Castro's recovery continues five months after he underwent emergency intestinal surgery. Speculation about Castro's medical condition has bee ...


Winter storm closes Plains roads
30 Dec 2006 source: cnn.com

DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- National Guard troops in tracked vehicles crawled through 10-foot snowdrifts and whiteout conditions Saturday in eastern Colorado, rescuing motorists trapped by the region's second holiday season blizzard. The storm, which brought Denver to a standstill and hampered holiday air travel Thursday and Friday, was slowly moving east, spreading snow from New Mexico to the Dako ...


Chicago jazz mecca closes doors
30 Dec 2006 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By James B. Kelleher CHICAGO (Reuters) - In a city that lost several beloved institutions in 2006, the sound coming out of Chicago's jazz scene is providing a year-end coda no one wants to hear. The Jazz Showcase, this jazz-drenched city's oldest club dedicated to the musical form and the second-oldest U.S. jazz venue after New York's Village Vanguard, is closing its doors this weekend after 59 ye ...


Boy hurt in hit-and-run accident
30 Dec 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

A 10-year-old boy has been taken to hospital after what police described as a hit-and-run incident in south Belfast. It happened at the junction of Blackwood Street and Ava Avenue off the Ormeau Road after 1345 GMT on Saturday. The child was hit by a small black car with two males on board. He was taken to hospital with a broken leg and suspected back injuries. Police believe the car may have sustained some frontal damage. They have appealed for anyone with information about the incident to ...


Football: Man Utd pull ahead
30 Dec 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

Manchester United gave manager Sir Alex Ferguson an early birthday present with victory over Reading at Old Trafford. Ferguson, who is 65 on New Year's Eve, saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put United ahead from a Cristiano Ronaldo cross. Ibrahima Sonko soon headed Reading level from Nicky Shorey's free-kick after Edwin van der Sar's flap. Ronaldo restored United's lead after Solskjaer hit the post and he volleyed in his second before Leroy Lita pulled one back for Reading. Ferguson was presented w ...


Castro wishes Chinese president happy New Year
30 Dec 2006 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Anthony Boadle HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba's ailing leader Fidel Castro, who has not been seen in public for five months, telephoned the Chinese ambassador in Havana to discuss close ties between the two nations, state media said on Saturday. Castro sent Chinese President Hu Jintao best wishes for the New Year during his conversation with Ambassador Zhao Rongxian on Thursday night, Cuba's ruling Co ...


Indonesia ship sinks with hundreds aboard
30 Dec 2006 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Telly Nathalia JAKARTA (Reuters) - An Indonesian ferry with at least 600 aboard sank during a stormy night voyage between the islands of Borneo and Java, said on Saturday. The sinking is the second Indonesian ferry disaster in as many days after a vessel capsized on Thursday in rough seas off Sumatra island. High seas and bad weather were hampering efforts to rescue survivors in the latest dis ...


Ethiopian tanks roll on Somali Islamist call to arms
30 Dec 2006 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By C. Bryson Hull MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Ethiopian tanks rumbled south from Mogadishu to attack Somali Islamists on Saturday after the religious movement's leaders called on fighters and residents in the port city of Kismayu to cast off a foreign "occupation". Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, whose forces fled the Somali capital on Thursday, urged thousands of people gathered at a Kismayu stadium for the Musli ...


Deadliest month for U.S. in Iraq in two years
30 Dec 2006 source: today.reuters.co.uk

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - December became the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Iraq in two years after the U.S. military reported six more combat deaths, leaving the tally just two short of the emotive 3,000 mark. Three U.S. marines died on Thursday from wounds suffered in combat in Iraq's western Anbar province. One soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in northwest Baghdad and another soldier was k ...


Ethiopian troops head southwards
30 Dec 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

Ethiopian and Somali troops are reported to be heading south towards the stronghold of Islamist fighters driven from the capital on Thursday. Ethiopian tanks are advancing to the port city of Kismayo, 500km (300 miles) south of Mogadishu. A senior figure in the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) has vowed that the group is still alive and ready to fight. The head of Somalia's transitional government has met clan leaders to discuss how to stabilise the capital. Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf, wh ...


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