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Unresolved Issues Will Render Referendum 'Illegimate' Warns Sudan Party Official

A senior member of Sudan’s governing National Congress Party (NCP) said failure to resolve all outstanding issues before the 9th January referendum will render the outcome of the vote, in his word, “illegitimate,” if southern Sudanese choose secession over unity.

Rabie Abdelati Obeid told VOA a decision by southerners to choose to become independent rather than be part of the north will only be “political secession” and would not have any impact on the ground.

Chavez Dares US to Cut Diplomatic Ties

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has dared the United States to "cut diplomatic relations" amid a dispute over the White House's choice of a new ambassador in Caracas.

Mr. Chavez said Tuesday the U.S. "can do whatever they want," but diplomat Larry Palmer will not be coming to Venezuela.

Palmer was nominated to be U.S. ambassador to Venezuela four months ago. The U.S. State Department has said Venezuela's rejection of his appointment will have consequences for the countries' already strained relations.

Ivory Coast President Threatens to Expel Ambassadors

The government of Ivory Coast's incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, says it will sever ties with countries that recognize envoys named by presidential challenger Alassane Ouattara.

A government statement Tuesday said it will expel ambassadors from countries that cut ties with Gbagbo appointees.

Earlier Tuesday, three West African presidents traveled to Abidjan to demand President Gbagbo accept the results of last month's elections and step down or face possible removal by West African military forces.

Ivory Coast Leader Insists He is Rightful President

Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo is insisting he is the true president of the country, but said he would be willing for an international committee to re-examine the election results.

In a speech broadcast on state television Tuesday, Mr. Gbagbo defied a global barrage of criticism, saying he won the November election.

However, he said he did not want more bloodshed in his country and offered to allow envoys from world powers, including the African Union, the United Nations and the European Union, to form a panel to study the post-election crisis.

B-52 Tail-gunner Recalls MiG Downing

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo., Dec. 27, 2010 – If the landmarks here could speak, the B-52 Stratofortress bomber sitting near the academy’s north gate would have quite a Vietnam War story to tell.

The crew of the “Diamond Lil,” a B-52D, tail number 55-083, took off from Utapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield on Christmas Eve in 1972. The crew’s mission was to bomb the North Vietnamese railroad yards at Thai Nguyen as part of Operation Linebacker II, which took place Dec. 18 to 29, 1972.

At Least 159 Inmates Escape from Mexican Prison

Mexican prison officials say that at least 159 inmates have escaped from a prison in Nuevo Laredo, a northeastern town near the U.S. border.

Officials say the inmates escaped early Friday through the main entrance. One police source said the method of escape points to complicity of prison guards. Reports say local, state and federal authorities are searching for the escapees.

What Happened Near Nogales?

Agents in Nogales are talking, off the record, about what really happened in Peck Canyon the night of the firefight between armed Mexican cartel members and the BORTAC team. The brass in Nogales, Tucson, and DC is very worried about the facts getting out to the public and have issued a gag order on all agents. They are threatening agents that they will be fired if they are caught talking about the facts of Terry's murder.

A lot of tips are coming in from agents now through back-channels. They want the truth about Terry's murder to be known.

Karen National Union Statement

Fourteenth KNU Congress, 3rd CSC Meeting Statement

December 21, 2010
General meeting of the 3rd Central Standing Committee (CSC) of the 14th KNU Congress was successfully held from December 14 to 19, 2010. Twenty three CSC members, 10 candidate members and one specially invited member attended the meeting, reviewed the political, military and social problems the KNU had to face and laid down future work programs.

Congress to read the Constitution - GOA still pushing petition

Gun Owners of America asked Americans to get behind our effort to push Congress to read the Constitution on the floor of the House and Senate.

House Speaker Designate John Boehner announced that the clerk of the House of Representatives will read the Constitution aloud at the start of the new Congress.