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Wall Street Journal – Worldwide News Briefs For January 4, 2007 January 4, 2007

Posted by notapundit in US News, World News.
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FORMER NSA CHIEF MCCONNELL has accepted the offer to become America’s next spy chief. His formal naming to replace Negroponte is expected within the week.
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The House elected Pelosi as the first woman speaker of the House, as Democrats took control of both the House and Senate for the first time in a dozen years.
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Harriet Miers, whose controversial nomination for the Supreme Court was withdrawn, submitted her resignation as White House counsel.
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The Iraqi government plans to proceed with the execution of two of Saddam Hussein’s co-defendants despite calls from the U.N. to refrain from carrying out the sentences.
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Somalia said its Ethiopian-backed troops are fighting about 600 Islamic militiamen in the country’s southern tip. The U.S. promised $16 million in aid to the transitional government.
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Israeli troops exchanged heavy fire with Palestinian gunmen in Ramallah after undercover Israeli forces got trapped in the West Bank city. Olmert and Mubarak met in Sharm el-Sheik.
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President Bush’s pledge to balance the budget by 2012 will be easier to project on paper than to actually achieve.
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Vietnam is easing restrictions on capital flows in and out of the country for trade and investment purposes.
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Rep. Frank laid out a road map to how Democrats may strike deals to aid unionization, expand health-care coverage and find common ground on other issues, while giving businesses concessions on immigration, trade and investment.
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The FTC levied $25 million in fines on marketers of four weight-loss pills, including Xenadrine EFX and One A Day Weight Smart, for making false advertising claims.
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The pilot of a commercial jet carrying Blair and his family misjudged the length of an airstrip, causing the plane to overshoot the runway at Miami’s airport last month, federal investigators said.
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Ford’s state funeral is set to end today with a service in Michigan. His body will be interred during a private burial on the grounds of his presidential museum in Grand Rapids.
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Rescue workers widened their search for a missing Indonesian jetliner three days after it went missing with 102 people on board.
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The State Department said Navy ships are on post off Somalia to bar escape of al Qaeda-allied militiamen from Ethiopia’s advancing soldiers.
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Belarus lashed out at Russia over rising energy prices, saying it would slap a customs duty on Russian oil pumped across its territory.
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Chertoff pledged that 75 metropolitan areas would have advanced disaster communications systems by 2009, but acknowledged that friction among emergency agencies continues to hinder progress.
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North Korea’s foreign minister has died at the age of 78. Paek Nam Sun had been the country’s top diplomat for nearly 10 years.

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