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Wall Street Journal – Worldwide News Briefs For January 31, 2007 January 31, 2007

Posted by notapundit in US News, World News.
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THE U.S. HAS WASTED tens of millions of dollars in Iraq reconstruction aid, including scores of unaccounted-for weapons, according to a government audit.
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Overland is being investigated for possible tax-law violations. The firm manages money for Muslim investors and is affiliated with a Swiss group suspected of financing Islamic extremists.
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The Justice Department will turn over secret documents detailing the government’s domestic spying program, ending a two-week standoff with the Senate Judiciary Committee over surveillance targeting terror suspects.
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Lawmakers will study if the Pentagon obtained proper approval for covert intelligence operations and notified Congress as required.
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British police thwarted what they believe was a plot to kidnap and potentially murder one individual, after raiding several addresses in Birmingham and arresting eight people on terrorism charges.
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Indonesia will declare bird flu a national disaster, while Nigeria reported its first human cases of the virus.
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The House voted 286-140 on a $463.5 billion spending bill that covers about one-sixth of the federal budget.
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Bush signed an executive order giving the White House more review authority over agency guidance.
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Judith Miller acknowledged that she had conversations with other government officials and couldn’t be absolutely certain that she first heard about an outed CIA official from Libby.
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United Arab Emirates announced plans to build a $27 billion arts hub that will include a Frank Gehry-designed museum and a performing arts center.
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Former Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon was convicted of forcibly kissing a young female soldier — a case that riveted the country and added another layer of scandal to Israel’s beleaguered leadership.
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German authorities have issued arrest warrants for 13 suspected CIA agents in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a German citizen, a Munich prosecutor said.
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A federal appeals court reinstated a key terrorism charge, the only one carrying a potential life sentence, against alleged al Qaeda operative Padilla. His trial is scheduled to begin in April.
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Taiwan and China are close to a deal on allowing tourists to visit the island directly from the mainland.
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A cease-fire began to take hold in the Gaza Strip after five days of intense fighting between the rival Hamas and Fatah factions left 35 people dead.
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Multiparty talks will resume next week on North Korea’s nuclear program, China said, as the U.S. and Pyongyang began meetings over the North’s alleged illicit financial dealings. Japan warned of repercussions if nuclear talks stall.
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The chairman of a House panel accused the Bush administration of suppressing documents that he said would likely show senior White House officials attempted to mislead the debate about climate change.
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The U.S. made modest progress on protecting its oceans last year, but still need

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