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Wall Street Journal – Worldwide News Briefs For January 5, 2007 January 5, 2007

Posted by notapundit in US News, World News.
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BUSH IS RESHUFFLING his national security team and military leadership in Iraq and scheduling private briefings with key lawmakers. Reid and Pelosi urged the president to begin pulling troops out of Iraq.
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Selection of Adm. McConnell to succeed Negroponte as intelligence czar renewed concerns at the total control of U.S. spy agencies by military men.
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Iraqi forces backed by U.S. troops will begin a neighborhood-by-neighborhood assault on militants in the capital this weekend as a first step to contain Sunni insurgents and Shiite death squads.
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The Palestinian president and prime minister agreed to pull back their forces, after a senior security commander and four of his bodyguards were killed in the latest internal fighting.
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Somali government troops backed by Ethiopians closed in on the last stronghold of Islamic movement militiamen.
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Pelosi moved quickly to tighten the House’s ethics and budget rules, putting pressure on an uneager Senate to follow suit.
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Bush chose Thomas P. D’Agostino to succeed Linton Brooks as head of the National Nuclear Security Administration after reports of embarrassing security breakdowns.
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The Supreme Court is poised to decide a series of business-related appeals, ranging from patent rulings to punitive-damages awards, as half of its docket is tied up with corporate disputes.
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The pilot of a missing Indonesian jetliner twice altered his flight path because of strong winds before disappearing from radar screens, an Indonesian official said.
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Warsaw’s incoming archbishop admitted he had cooperated with the Communist-era secret police and said he was leaving his fate in the hands of Pope Benedict XVI.
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A former Colombian cabinet minister escaped from six years in rebel captivity during a military raid, government officials said.
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An international antibribery watchdog has asked Britain to explain why it halted a corruption inquiry into a multibillion-pound defense deal with Saudi Arabia.
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Police found an unexploded bomb in Spain’s Basque country, undercutting separatist suggestions they did not plant the Madrid airport bomb.
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Germany’s population fell for a fourth consecutive year in 2006 and recorded the biggest drop since the country’s reunification in 1990.
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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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A debate is raging in India over use of the nation’s iron ore with foreign steelmakers willing to pay dearly for access to the reserves.

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