Thursday, December 31, 2009

World News Briefs -- December 31, 2009 (Eveining Edition)

Locals celebrate the new year early in front of a Christmas tree in Budapest. Revellers across the globe prepared Thursday to ring in the New Year with fireworks and festivities under tight security after a narrowly-averted Christmas Day airline bomb plot in the United States. (AFP/Attila Kisbenedek)

Revellers To Usher In 2010 With Fireworks And Parties -- Yahoo News/AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) – Revellers across the globe prepared Thursday to ring in the New Year with fireworks and festivities under tight security after a narrowly-averted Christmas Day airline bomb plot in the United States.

Partygoers from Tuvalu to Tijuana were set to raise a glass to bid farewell to 2009 and usher in a new decade, closing the door on 10 years scarred by wars, terror attacks, natural disasters and financial turmoil.

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MIDDLE EAST

Abbas: Israel sabotages Palestinian achievements by killing us.

Barack Obama considers sanctions against Iran's leaders.

Iran prosecutor threatens opposition with trials.

Ayatollah Khamenei's jet put on standby.

UK plays down report Iran directed hostage-taking. Petraeus '90% certain' Peter Moore was held in Iran.

Iraq suicide bombing kills 25.

Activists in Gaza and Israel protest Gaza blockade.

ASIA

8 Americans, 5 Canadians dead in Afghan attacks. CIA officers are killed in Afghan attack.

Western troops accused of executing 10 Afghan civilians, including children.

Taliban claim blasts that kill 13 in Afghanistan.

U.N. pulls part of staff from Pakistan on safety concerns.

AFRICA

Nigeria, Netherlands announce security plans; Somalia reports foiled bombing attempt.

Somali man 'tried to take bomb onto plane'.

Armed group in Niger planned to sell Saudis to Al-Qaeda - sources.

Zimbabwe mulls mortgaging minerals to offset debt.

Southern Sudan official welcomes new referendum law.

EUROPE

Economy, scandals, politics mar Sarkozy's year.

With Greece teetering, the worst may not be over for Europe.

Finland gunman found dead after killing five.

Lithuania to shut its only nuclear power station.

Ten years at the top for Vladimir Putin.

AMERICAS

PM Harper suspends Canada's Parliament.

Extra security in Times Square for New Year’s Eve.

Murder victims found hanging from Mexico overpass.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Al-Qaeda and Yemen - Washington Post fact sheet / major incident / event listing.

Spy agencies failed to collate clues on terror.

Source: CIA failed to circulate report about bombing suspect. FBI, CIA interrogate father of Nigerian suspect.

Obama to receive prelim report on airline attack.

Yemeni forces raid al-Qaida hideout, clashes erupt.

Confusion over Bali terror warning.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Dow finishes 2009 with nearly 19% gain.

China ruling portends more trade action in 2010.

Iceland approves £3.4bn Icesave loss deal.

World stocks close out bumper 2009 with more gains.