International News Archive - December 25, 2005

By Mark Bendeich SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian police patrolled Sydney's beaches in buggies and on horses decorated with tinsel and reindeer antlers on Sunday, as fears of fresh racial violence dissolved into a quiet Christmas Day.

By Darren Schuettler BAN NAM KHEM, Thailand (Reuters) - Thailand's tsunami Christians celebrated their first Christmas on Sunday with folk songs, prayers and tears for loved ones killed in the disaster nearly one year ago.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon returned to work on Sunday a week after a mild stroke interrupted his battle for re-election, chairing a cabinet meeting in a show of vigor.

By Ed Cropley KOH PHI PHI, Thailand (Reuters) - For 28-year-old Canadian nurse Sandra Hodge, Christmas was spent just like every other over day the last 10 months -- sweating away under a tropical sun cleaning up debris from the Indian Ocean tsunami.

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - An earthquake of magnitude 5.2 shook northern Pakistan on Sunday but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, a meteorological official and police said.

By Parinoosh Arami TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran on Sunday denied receiving a proposal from Moscow to build a joint venture plant to enrich uranium in Russia but said it was happy to continue negotiations over its nuclear programme with the European Union.

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya's Supreme Court ended a hearing on an appeal by five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor early on Sunday and will announce its verdict within a few hours, the judge said. "The verdict will be issued in the next few hours," Ali Alouss said.

RIYADH (Reuters) - Crown Prince Sultan has held open the possibility that Saudi Arabia could lift its ban on women drivers -- but said Saudi men would have the final say.

By Willy Kabwe KINSHASA (Reuters) - U.N. and Congolese troops moved against Ugandan rebels in Congo's wartorn east on Sunday, in their latest move to restore government control after the huge nation voted in favor of a postwar constitution, the U.N. said.

DHAKA (Reuters) - Police detained 10 suspected Islamist militants across Bangladesh on Sunday as the mainly Muslim nation enforced tight security for Christmas. Police said they also recovered two live bombs from a school compound at Pagla, near the capital Dhaka.

Word of the Day
  • A pivoted catch designed to fall into a notch on a ratchet wheel so as to allow movement in only one direction (e.g. on a windlass or in a clock mechanism), or alternatively to move the wheel in one direction.
The word 'pawl' probably comes from a Latin word meaning 'stake'.