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10:00 AM ET, December 26, 2006


 Top Items: 
Salad Duhul / Associated Press:
Islamic forces on the retreat in Somalia  —  MOGADISHU, Somalia - Islamic fighters were in a tactical retreat Tuesday, a senior Islamic leader said, as government and Ethiopian troops advanced on three fronts in a decisive turn around in the battle for control of Somalia.
Michael van der Galien / The Moderate Voice:
Brave Islamists Withdrawing  —  The brave and strong Islamist forces who took over in Somalia are, a few days after Ethiopia joined the fight, on the run. … Obviously, the war isn't over yet.  Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed (I wonder how his friends call him... 'tripple s'?) refuses to give up:
Salad Duhul / Associated Press:
Islamic Fighters Quitting Somalia Front  —  MOGADISHU, Somalia — Islamic fighters attempting to wrest power from Somalia's internationally recognized government retreated from the main front line early Tuesday, witnesses said, a day after Ethiopian fighter jets bombed the country's two main international airports.
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
Islamist Forces Retreating In Somalia  —  Ethiopian advances have forced the Islamists in Somalia to fall back, abandoning some of their bases and towns.  Their reverses prompted the weak Somalian government to offer amnesty for surrender, but the Islamic Courts Union has thus far refused:
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:   'A Measure Of Law To A Lawless Country'?
Christopher Torchia / Associated Press:
U.S. toll in Iraq surpasses that of 9/11  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq - At least 36 Iraqis died Tuesday in bombings, officials said, including a coordinated strike that killed 25 in western Baghdad.  Separately, the deaths of six U.S. soldiers pushed the American toll beyond the number of victims in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
U.S. arrest of Iranians reportedly upsets Iraqi president … BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Iraqi and Iranian authorities slammed the United States on Monday for having arrested several Iranians who were visiting Iraq.  —  A U.S. official said the Iranians were suspected of involvement in attacks against Iraqi security forces.
Marc Santora / New York Times:
Abuse Seen at Iraqi Jail Puts New Focus on Rogue Police
Discussion: Suburban Guerrilla
Nasser Karimi / Associated Press:   Iran refuses to cease uranium enrichment
Juan / Informed Comment:
Christmas in the Middle East
Katharine Q. Seelye / New York Times:
Flash!  President Bush Says He Reads Papers  —  Is there hope for newspapers after all?  Readers may be abandoning the printed versions, but over the last couple of years, at least one person seems to have started reading them, at least sometimes.  He lives in the White House.
Discussion: Political Animal
Daily Mail:
Veil liberates me, says alternative Christmas message woman  —  A veil-wearing Muslim convert today claimed the way she chooses to dress makes her feel "liberated" as she delivered an alternative Christmas message.  —  Khadija, the great-granddaughter of a suffragette …
Joseph Goldstein / New York Sun:
Courts Side With NSA On Wiretaps  —  Defense lawyers who had hoped that the public disclosure a year ago of the National Security Agency's wiretapping program would yield information favorable to their clients are being rebuffed by the federal judiciary, which in a series of unusually consistent rulings …
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
A Delusional System of Justice  —  Since this is my last column of 2006, tradition and custom obligate me to choose a person of the year.  This practice was started by the late Henry Luce, who realized that choosing a man of the year would call as much attention to his Time magazine as it would to the person himself.
Jon Pareles / New York Times:
James Brown, the 'Godfather of Soul,' Dies at 73  —  James Brown, the singer, songwriter, bandleader and dancer who indelibly transformed 20th-century music, died early yesterday in Atlanta.  He was 73 and lived in Beech Island, S.C., across the Savannah River from Augusta, Ga.
John Hawkins / Right Wing News:
The 20 Biggest Stories Of 2006  —  Honorable Mention) Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Suffered A Stroke And Cerebral Hemorrhage: Israel's Prime Minister is laid low by health problems after he formed a new party.  Would Hezbollah have been picking fights and Iran talking so tough if the old soldier were still running the show?
Jeff Sessions / Washington Post:
A Bipartisan Fix for Retirees  —  In the aftermath of their November election victory, Democratic leaders have pledged to work on a bipartisan basis to solve the problems facing our nation.  In that spirit, I suggest that Democrats and Republicans can successfully work together …
Discussion: Beat the Press
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Democrats Pledge to Restrain Spending  —  Critics Say Party's Goals Are Too Lofty  —  Determined to banish their old tax-and-spend image, Democrats want to shrink the federal deficit, preserve tax cuts for the middle class and challenge the president to raise money for the Iraq war when they take control of Congress next week.
Discussion: and Beat the Press
Associated Press:
Tsunami aims at Philippines after quake  —  TAIPEI, Taiwan - A powerful quake struck off southwestern Taiwan on Tuesday, triggering a potentially destructive tsunami that was headed toward the Philippines on the second anniversary of the deadly waves that killed thousands in south Asia.
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
Longtime President of CBS Dies at 98
Greg Miller / Los Angeles Times:
Alarming 9/11 claim is found baseless
See-Dubya / Hot Air:
A Correction About Jamil Hussein!
Barbara O'Brien / Crooks and Liars:
Next: Bread and Circuses
Discussion: ABCNEWS and Alternate Brain
Curt / Flopping Aces:
The Kwanzaa Fraud  —  Ah...the holidays.  Great time of the year isn't it?
Timothy Egan / New York Times:
Pork No Longer Paves the Road to Re-election
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island
 Earlier Items: 
Anat Bereshkovsky / Ynetnews:
Qassam hits strategic facility in Ashkelon
Russ Vaughn / Old War Dogs:
To Our Sheepdogs  —  Those sent to man the wire.  —  Patrolling on the front line,
Gerard Henderson / Sydney Morning Herald:
It's dog eat dog in the year of hyperbole
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Justice Dept. Database Stirs Privacy Fears
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Hidey-Ho  —  I was trying to find a good YouTube of my favorite …
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Christmas Movie Redux
Washington Post:
Interior, Pentagon Faulted In Audits