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General News Archive - December 25, 2005

By Chris Buckley BEIJING (Reuters) - China's parliament has announced plans to abolish the country's long-standing agricultural tax at a time when social unrest and a deepening income divide are raising official fears about stagnant farm incomes.

SEOUL (Reuters) - The U.S. Ambassador to Seoul, who had labeled Pyongyang "a criminal regime," has told a South Korean TV North Korea should not make Washington's financial crackdown on it an excuse to delay talks on nuclear programmes.

SOFIA (Reuters) - Libya's Supreme Court sent back the case of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor sentenced to death for infecting children with HIV to a lower court due to procedural lapses, Bulgarian state radio said on Sunday.

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya's Supreme court on Sunday scrapped the death sentences against five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor and ordered their retrial by a lower court, the court and lawyers said.

By Lesley Wroughton MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld left Iraq on Christmas Eve confident that his cautious strategy to hand over security responsibilities to Iraqi forces -- a critical component for eventually declaring victory - was working so far.

By Suleiman al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Lawyers for Saddam Hussein have asked his Baghdad court for an independent investigation into claims by the ousted Iraqi leader that he has been tortured by his American captors.

By Salah Sarrar TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya's Supreme Court on Sunday scrapped death sentences against five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor convicted of infecting children with the HIV virus and sent the case back to a lower court for retrial.

By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict, in his first Christmas address, on Sunday urged humanity to unite against terrorism, poverty and environmental blight and called for a "new world order" to correct economic imbalances.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Medical device maker Guidant Corp. projected that some patients might die as result of short circuits in a company heart device, the New York Times reported Saturday, citing company records filed in connection with a lawsuit.

TOKYO (Reuters) - Rescue workers were battling strong winds on Monday to try to extract a person trapped for more than 12 hours in the wreckage of a train that derailed in a snowstorm in northern Japan, killing three people and injuring 33.

Word of the Day
monteith
  • A large punch-bowl of the eighteenth century, usually of silver and with a movable rim, and decorated with flutings and a scalloped edge. It was also used for cooling and carrying wine-glasses.
  • A kind of cotton handkerchief having white spots on a colored ground, the spots being produced by a chemical which discharges the color.
This word is possibly named after Monteith (Monteigh), 'an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.'
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