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Submitted by Newsroom on December 17, 2010 – 6:08 amNo Comment

Update on the latest World news: 6:08 a.m. mst
 
 
 TAX CUTS-WEINER   
     Dem critic raps Obama over tax cut deal     
     WASHINGTON (AP)
– A prominent Democratic opponent of the tax cut
package passed by Congress says Republicans got the better of
President Barack Obama in the negotiations to reach agreement on
the $858 billion deal.

Wyoming's Congressional Delegation - Senators John Barrasso, left, and Mike Enzi and Congesswoman Cynthia Lummis

Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner of New York says
Republicans turned out to be “better poker players” than the
president. He told CBS’ Early Show on Friday that the GOP got the
two things it most wanted, a lower estate tax and extension of tax
cuts for the wealthy.
     Weiner voted against the package that the House adopted late
Thursday.
     He says that when the latest agreement expires in 2012, Obama
and lawmakers will face enormous election-year pressure to extend
the tax cuts again or make them permanent.
 
 US-AFGHANISTAN 
     Mullen: Taliban hideouts can be shut down  
     KABUL, Afghanistan (AP)
– The top U.S. military officer says
Pakistani military could shut down Taliban hideouts on its soil to
prevent insurgents from moving back and forth across the long,
porous Afghan-Pakistan border.
     Adm. Mike Mullen told reporters in Kabul on Friday that fixing
the problem is critical to making progress in the war. Mullen says
he’s encouraged by what Pakistan has done during the past two years
to pursue insurgents on its side of the border. Mullen is chairman
of the joint chiefs of staff. His comments come a day after
President Barack Obama released a review of the war.
     Earlier, the top NATO commander, Gen. David Petraeus, also
praised Pakistan’s efforts to rout internal militants and its new
willingness to cooperate with U.S. forces on operations that span
the border.
 
 WIKILEAKS-INDIA
     Wikileaks: US fears bioweapons from India labs     
     NEW DELHI (AP)
– U.S. officials say lax security at
sophisticated Indian laboratories could make them targets for
terrorists seeking biological weapons, according to comments made
public in a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable.
     The cable sent from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi in June 2006
says India’s public health system is ill-prepared in the event of a
biological attack from terrorists.
     While the govelihood of such an
attack as remote, U.S. diplomats expressed concerns that Indian
labs could be the source of material for a biological attack
elsewhere.
     The cable marked confidential was obtained by WikiLeaks and
posted Friday on the Website of the British newspaper The
Guardian.

 EU-FOREIGN POLICY 
     Report warns EU losing influence in US     
     BRUSSELS (AP)
– A European Union report warns that the United
States is increasingly looking to partners in other parts of the
world because Europe is no longer its main strategic priority.
     In her first report to EU leaders, foreign policy chief
Catherine Ashton says that to achieve its objectives with
Washington, Europe needs to show unity because the U.S. “will
continue to want a strong and capable EU.”
     Ashton says the U.S. needs help in achieving its global
objectives, and it expects the EU to “manage its own
neighborhood.”
     The foreign policy report comes after repeated warnings that EU
influence is waning. Earlier this year, U.S. President Barack Obama
canceled a meeting with top EU officials – brief talks were instead
held last month on the sidelines of a NATO summit.
 
 KOREAS-CLASH
     NKorea warns SKorea to stop live-fire drills     
     SEOUL, South Korea (AP)
– North Korea is warning South Korea to
stop planned live-fire drills on an island the North bombed last
month.
     The North says the “intensity and scope” of its retaliation
will be worse than last month’s attack if the South goes through
with its announced one-day live-fire drills sometime between
Saturday and Tuesday on Yeonpyeong Island.
     The North responded to similar South Korean drills on Nov. 23 by
raining artillery shells on the tiny fishing community near the
Koreas’ disputed sea border. Four South Koreans were killed.
     The South has said the drills are part of “routine, justified”
exercises. Representatives of the U.N. Command that oversees the
armistice that ended the Korean War will observe the drills.
 
 CHINA-JAPAN  
     Beijing says Japan making irresponsible remarks    
     BEIJING (AP)
– Beijing is accusing Japan of making irresponsible
remarks in its new defense guidelines targeting China.
     Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu says China is a force for
peace and development in Asia and threatens no one.
     She accused Japan of falsely claiming to represent international
opinion and said no country has the right to make irresponsible
comments concerning China’s development.
     The Japanese guidelines announced Friday say Tokyo needs to
focus on the rise of China and not the Cold War threat of Russia in
defining its security goals.
 
 EU-IVORY COAST 
     EU gives Gbagbo until end of week to leave power     
     BRUSSELS (AP)
– The European Union is giving Ivory Coast’s
Laurent Gbagbo (BAHG’-boh) until the end of the week to leave the
presidency or face EU sanctions and possibly prosecution by the
international court.
     French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday EU nations were
unanimous that Gbagbo should leave office in the former French
colony. Otherwise he and his wife will face an assets freeze and
visa ban.
     Sarkozy said Gbagbo was responsible for turning one of Africa’s
most stable nations into one where innocent people are shot in the
streets by the president’s supporters. He noted there are
international courts to deal with such crimes.
     Police were out in force in Abidjan on Friday as supporters of
the internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast’s presidential
election vowed to try once again to seize state institutions.
 
 WINTRY WEATHER  
     Storm departs East; another due     
     CAMP SPRINGS, Md. (AP)
– Just a day after a storm dumped snow,
ice and rain on parts of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic,
forecasters are keeping their eyes on the potential for an even
bigger event come Sunday.
     At the National Forecast Desk in Camp Springs, Md.,
meteorologist Bob Oravec says the latest computer models show a
storm moving across the deep South and then intensifying off the
Atlantic Seaboard.
     But Oravec says it should stay far enough out to sea to spare
Washington, Philadelphia and New York a major snow event. Only
Boston is likely to get significant snow from this yet-to-develop
storm.
     As for weather patterns, the trough over the eastern U.S. will
stay put for the time being, keeping below-average temperatures in
place for the time being.
     Out West, Oravec says California is likely to get several feet
of snow in the higher elevations in the next few days from a
Pacific storm.
 
 GOLD ATM  
     Fancy ATM skips the folding cash, spits out gold     
     BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP)
– If you’re a shopper looking for
something sparkly to put under the Christmas tree, you could skip
the jewelry.
     A new ATM at an upscale mall in Florida’s swanky Boca Raton
dispenses shiny 24-carat gold bars and coins.
     A German company plans to install the machine Friday.
     Thomas Geissler, inventor of the Gold To Go machines, says the
majority of buyers will be walk-ups enamored by the novelty.
     But he says they’re also convenient for more serious investors
looking to bypass the hassle of buying gold at pawn shops and over
the Internet.
     Shoppers insert cash or credit cards and use a computer
touch-screen to choose the weight and style they want. The machine
spits out the gold in a classy black box with a tamper-proof seal.
 
 FORBES-MINIATURE TOY SALE   
     Forbes collection of antique toys on auction in NY     
     NEW YORK (AP)
– A collection of rare and valuable toys put
together over almost 40 years by the late Malcolm Forbes and his
sons is going up on the auction block.
     The Forbes collection of antique toys is estimated to bring in
anywhere from $3 million to $5 million in the sale Friday at
Sotheby’s.
     It includes toy boats, soldiers, motorcycles and board games,
including a handmade Monopoly game from 1933.
     Another highlight is a 3-foot-long replica of the Cunard
Line’s Lusitania ocean liner,
complete with crew and passengers.
     Malcolm Forbes paid $28,600 for the Lusitania at Sotheby’s in
1983. It’s estimated to bring $100,000 to $200,000 at the upcoming
auction.
 
    
     (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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