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Submitted by Newsroom on December 21, 2010 – 8:49 amNo Comment
 Update on the latest world news: 8:49 a.m. mst
     Mayor says device couldn’t have exploded
     ROME (AP)
– Rome’s mayor says a device found in a subway car in
Rome could not have exploded.
     Gianni Alemanno was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency
that after examination, bomb-disposal experts said “the device
could not have exploded.”
     The device was found this morning inside a train during a stop
at a station on the outskirts of Italian capital.
     The Apcom news agency said the device had been left in a grocery
bag underneath a seat, and was spotted by the conductor in the
     UK terror plot aimed at British landmarks, spaces
     LONDON (AP)
– British security officials say a large-scale
terror attack was aimed at landmarks and public spaces, as more
details of the plot emerged and police searched the homes of 12
British suspects being held for questioning.
     The men were arrested Monday in the largest counterterrorism
raid in nearly two years. At least five were of Bangladeshi origin.
     Lord Carlile, the government’s independent reviewer of terror
legislation, said Tuesday the alleged plot appeared significant and
involved several UK cities. Police have up to 28 days to either
charge the men or release them.
     Possible targets included the Houses of Parliament and shopping
areas, according to a security official who spoke to the Associated
Press on condition of anonymity.
     Random bag checks start at DC-area Metro stations
– The Washington area’s Metro transit
system is randomly checking passenger bags for explosives and other
dangers for the first time, following similar efforts in New York
and Boston.
     Screeners swabbed some riders’ bags and inspected them in at
least two Metro train stations early Tuesday in Maryland and
Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. The checks took less than
one minute each.
     Metro Transit Police Department Chief Michael Taborn said the
idea has been in the works for years and is not a response to any
particular threat. Two men have been arrested this year in separate
cases of alleged bomb plots against the system.
     Two rights groups have an online petition against Metro’s
program. The ACLU lost a 2005 challenge against New York’s
     UN buildings clear because of odor
– U.N. Deputy Spokesman Faran Haq says the
U.N. building where the Security Council and the General Assembly
were scheduled to meet have been evacuated because of a suspicious
     Other U.N. officials say the odor was caused by an apparent gas
leak in the basement.
     The temporary building on the north lawn of the complex, where
U.N. Security-General Ban Ki-moon has his offices, was evacuated
Tuesday, but staff and diplomats were allowed to return a few
minutes later.
     U.N. officials say that the General Assembly and Security
Council meeetings are being moved to the North Lawn building.
     Iraqi lawmakers approve new government
– President Barack Obama is hailing the
formation of Iraq’s new government as a “significant moment” in
the country’s history.

U.S. President Barack Obama

     In a written statement Tuesday, Obama said it’s both a “major
step forward” and a “clear rejection” of sectarian extremism.
     The government, headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a
Shiite, was approved unanimously in Baghdad on Tuesday, ending nine
months of political gridlock that had Washington fearing fresh
political turmoil as U.S. forces continue their Iraq drawdown.
     Another GOP senator supports nuke pact
– The Senate’s No. 3 Republican says he will
vote to ratify a new arms control treaty, a top foreign policy
priority of President Barack Obama.
     Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee made the announcement Tuesday
in a speech on the Senate floor.
     Alexander said Americans would be safer and more secure with the
treaty than without. He said he received assurances from Obama.
     The treaty requires a vote of two-thirds of the Senate. Six
Republicans have said they will back the accord. Democrats need at
least nine GOP senators to win approval of the treaty.
     British leader offers troops to help clear delays
     LONDON (AP)
– Prime Minister David Cameron says he has offered
troops to help clear delays at Britain’s airports, and promises the
second runway at London’s Heathrow will reopen within hours.
     Cameron told reporters that his government had “offered
military assistance” to the company that operates Europe’s busiest
airport and others in Britain.
     More heavy rain in the forecast
– Forecasters are warning of an even fiercer
storm in Southern California starting tonight.
     They say it will bring up to 8 inches of rain — and even more
in some mountain areas.
     Most of the state has been affected by the storms that began
     Rescuers are searching a flooded Southern California canyon for
four hikers.
     A bulldozer is being used to navigate the rain-swollen Holy Jim
Canyon area of Orange County because the area is too flooded for
other rescue vehicles.
     Stocks edge higher on another round of dealmaking
     NEW YORK (AP)
– Deals are back in focus, and that’s pushing
stocks higher.
     Toronto-Dominion Bank agreed Tuesday to buy Chrysler Financial,
the automaker’s old lending arm, from private equity firm Cerberus
Capital Management LP for $6.3 billion. Dutch chemicals company
Royal DSM NV also says it plans to buy US biotech firm Martek
Biosciences Corp. for $1.09 billion in cash.
     Vatican clarifies pope’s condom comments
– The Vatican has clarified the pope’s
controversial comments about condoms by saying he by no means
suggested their use could be justified as a means of avoiding
     The Vatican’s moral watchdog, the Congregation of the Doctrine
of the Faith, issued the statement Tuesday saying some commentators
had misunderstood and misrepresented the pope’s remarks in a
book-length interview released last month, “Light of the World.”
     The Vatican has been under pressure from conservative
theologians to issue such a statement amid widespread confusion
about the pope’s remarks and whether he was breaking with church
     (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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