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    03 July 2009

    ALERT| Sarah Palin Is To 'Step Down'

    Follow this Space For All The Latest Information..
    @BreakingNews: URGENT -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin confirms she will resign at the end of this month and transfer power to Lt. Gov. Parnell.
    She did not take questions or give indications as to her future plans. Palin is expected to announce a run for the presidency at some point.
    LOCAL Tv Stations And Other Media...

    WABC-TV:Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will step down from office in one month, according to reports.
    Ny Times:
    Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, announced she would step down before the end of the month, citing a desire to affect change outside of government.
    WNBC-Tv :Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will not seek re-election when her term ends in 2010, freeing the former vice presidential hopeful for a possible run at the White House in 2012, according to reports.
    KABC-Tv:Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will step down from office

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    Spanish nuke plant to stay open

    Spain says its oldest nuclear power station could stay open for another four years despite a pledge to close it in 2011.

    The 500 megawatt Garona nuclear plant near Burgos in the north of Spain produces less than 2 per cent of the country’s energy.

    Environmentalists want it closed. Unions want it to stay open to save jobs.

    Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said: “The decision could be criticised from different sides. But there is a balanced and responsible decision to make and one which is good for the country”.

    Whether Garona stays open is the Socialist government’s first test of its electoral pledge to phase out nuclear energy.

    Workers’ representative Alberto Cesar Gonzalez
    said: “The worst part is for the workers, of course. We are going to fight and we have fought for closure in 2019. The Nuclear Safety Council says so …and we are very clear about that: our jobs are in nuclear plants until 2019.”

    Spain has extensive alternatives to nuclear power.
    It is the world’s second biggest producer of solar energy and third biggest generator of wind power.

    Portuguese minister quits over gesture

    Portugal’s Economy Minister has resigned after making an offensive gesture in parliament at a political opponent.

    Manuel Pinho represented two horns, which means calling someone a cuckold.

    Amid outrage in the house, Prime Minister Jose Socrates apologised in the name of the government. He said that nothing could justify the minister’s actions.

    The controversy surrounding Pinho is the last thing the ruling Socialists need. Having taken a beating in last month’s European elections, they are gearing up for a general election in September.

    Amid rising unemployment in Portugal, the government has faced heavy criticism over its handling of the economic crisis.

    New Honduran leader ‘open’ to vote

    The new leadership in Honduras has said it may accept early elections in the face of mounting international criticism of last week’s army coup.
    Demonstrators protesting the overthrow of President Manuel Zelaya took to the streets in the country’s second city of San Pedro Sula, defying a decree giving the security forces stronger powers to detain suspects.

    Zelaya was deposed after proposing constitutional change to allow him a second term. The interim President ruled out his return, but adopted a more conciliatory tone.

    “I am totally willing to accept early elections, as long as it is withing the framework of the law. I have no objection if it helps solve the problem,” said Roberto Micheletti.

    The coup has split Honduras, with Micheletti supporters also demonstrating in San Pedro Sula, and pressure is mounting abroad. The Organisation of American States has demanded Zelaya’s reinstatement by Sunday and has threatened to impose sanctions if he is not.

    ALERT|Music star Cheb Mami gets five years in jail in forced abortion case

    France 24 English News Channel is Reporting that
    A French court has sentenced Algerian-born rai singer Cheb Mami, also known as the "Prince of Rai," to five years in jail for attempting to have his ex-girlfriend undergo a forced abortion.

    More on This Story later…..

    Update: Algerian-born music star Cheb Mami was sentenced Friday to five years in jail for trying to make his ex-girlfriend undergo a forced abortion, despite pleading for forgiveness at his trial near Paris.

    Known as the "Prince of Rai", the 42-year-old singer this week ended two years on the run and returned to France to face trial for the 2005 assault against his former lover.

    Wearing a white shirt, the star, whose real name is Mohamed Khelifati, showed no emotion as the verdict was read out, before being escorted from the courtroom in Bobigny, outside Paris, and remanded in custody.

    Prosecutors had asked for seven years against Mami, who produced several chart-topping records in France in the 1990s but reached international stardom in 2001 with the hit "Desert Rose" sung with British pop star Sting.

    Mami's former manager Michel Lecorre -- also known as Michel Levy -- was sentenced to four years for plotting and organising the assault.

    Arrest warrants were also issued for two of Mami's aides, Hicham Lazaar and Abdelkader Lallali, who were convicted in absentia of having a direct hand in the violence. They were sentenced to three and six years in jail respectively.

    The victim, a 43-year-old photographer whose name was withheld, was sequestered and drugged in an Algiers house belonging the singer after revealing she was pregnant in the summer of 2005.

    Two women and a man then tried to carry out an abortion on her.

    Returning to France, the woman learned that her pregnancy had not been terminated and went on to have the child -- a girl -- now three years old.

    "They insulted me.. They threw me on the mattress and tore off my pants....I was given three shots with needles, one woman pressed against my stomach and the other put her hand in my vagina and started scraping," she testified in court.

    During his testimony, Mami expressed remorse and pleaded for the woman's forgiveness.

    He broke down in tears and admitted making a "serious mistake" but said he did not love the woman and felt "trapped" when she told him she was pregnant.

    "I was ashamed to have an illegitimate child. A child should be born from a union. I didn't want this child," he told the court.

    Mami blamed his former manager Levy, saying he was behind the plot to force the woman to have an abortion.

    "I was in a panic and I agreed," he said. "I did nothing to stop him."

    Doctors say John Demjanjuk is fit to stand trial

    Accused Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk has been deemed fit enough by medical experts to
    stand trial for allegedly helping to kill 29,000 Jews in 1943.

    The 89-year-old was deported to Germany from the US in May, and has been held in a jail near Munich.

    The medical experts have placed a limit of two 90-minute court sessions per day for Demjanjuk.

    His family has argued he is too frail to stand trial, saying he has spinal problems, kidney failure and anaemia.

    Demjanjuk denies any role in the Holocaust.

    His trial is expected to be Germany’s last major Nazi court case.

    Crash-hit airline suspends flights

    It is a small and bittersweet victory for members of France’s Comoran community, after Tuesday’s plane crash that left more than 150 people dead.

    Under pressure from protesters claiming its aircraft are in a poor condition, the Yemenia airline has indefinitely suspended flights between Marseille and Yemen’s capital, Sanaa.

    It had already cancelled two flights from the French airport following demonstrations there. And, while maintaining it follows the highest safety standards,
    Yemenia has now gone one step further, in the current climate, vowing to reimburse tickets.

    The sole survivor from its jet that plunged into the Indian Ocean near the Comoros has been flown home to France.

    Suffering relatively minor injuries, 12-year-old Bahia Bakari clung to floating debris for hours
    before being rescued.

    But her mother did not make it out alive from the stricken Airbus A310 and, despite an ongoing search, the Comoran community knows hopes of another miracle find are all but over.

    In the presence of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a religious remembrance service for victims of the crash has been held at the Grand Mosque of Paris.

    UK fears huge surge in Influenza A (H1N1) flu cases

    Health officials in Spain and France have played down fears of a surge in H1N1 flu cases, saying British warnings are exaggerated. Spain has Europe’s second-largest number of flu victims after the UK, but is confident of staying on top of the virus. Madrid said it was pointless speculating about what might happen.

    “We are in no position to predict the future,” said Spain’s Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez. “In Spain we are seeing the level of contagion reach 20 – 25 a day. To plan for a worse scenario, as the British Health Minister is doing, seems to me to be rather over the top. We should avoid speculating about something we don’t know.”

    Official government figures show nearly seven and a half thousand cases in in the UK, and about a tenth of that number in Spain. France said the situation in mainland Europe is completely different to that in the UK.

    The British government predicts 100,000 new cases a day in the UK by the end of August, and said tactics must change from trying to contain the flu to treating the increasing numbers falling ill.

    “We’ve got to plan for the worst, and that’s why I was open about that level of projection,” said Britain’s Health Minister Andy Burnham. “That’s why I’ve said that that explains our move to this kind of treatment phase.”

    A pandemic flu vaccine should be available by the end of the summer, although sufferers continue to be treated with Tamiflu. Reports that a man in Denmark and a woman in Japan have become resistent to the drug were accepted by its makers, Roche, as being within clinical expectations.

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