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9:50 AM ET, December 29, 2006


 Top Items: 
NBC: Saddam to be hanged by Sunday  —  Ex-dictator's execution expected to be carried out by start of Eid holiday  —  Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, sentenced to death for his role in 148 killings in 1982, will have his sentence carried out by Sunday, NBC News reported Thursday.
Paul J. Gough / Reuters:
TV plans tasteful coverage of Saddam execution  —  NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Television networks face a killer of a conundrum with the impending execution of Saddam Hussein, whose hanging could be videotaped and perhaps aired on Iraqi TV.  —  The timing of Saddam's date with the gallows was unclear …
Lawyer told to pick up Hussein's personal effects … WASHINGTON (CNN) — With Iraqis braced for Saddam Hussein's execution, the former dictator's lawyer said Friday the U.S. military has asked that he arrange the pickup of Hussein's personal belongings.  —  But Hussein has not been handed …
Lauren Frayer / Associated Press:
U.S. Preparing for Saddam's Execution  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - As Saddam Hussein's lawyer made a last-ditch effort to impede his execution Thursday, the White House was preparing for the ousted dictator to be hanged as early as this weekend, a senior administration official said.
New York Times:
The Rush to Hang Saddam Hussein  —  The important question was never really about whether Saddam Hussein was guilty of crimes against humanity.  The public record is bulging with the lengthy litany of his vile and unforgivable atrocities: genocidal assaults against the Kurds …
James Glanz / New York Times:
U.S. Is Being Told Hussein Hanging Seems Imminent  —  Preparations for the execution of Saddam Hussein began taking on a sense of urgency late Thursday as American and Iraqi officials suggested that he could be hanged within a span of days rather than weeks.
Lauren Frayer / Associated Press:
Officials: Saddam still in U.S. custody  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq - Saddam Hussein's half brothers visited him in his jail cell and he gave them his will, Iraqi officials said Friday, indicating his execution may be approaching.  But they said he had yet to be transferred to Iraqi custody.
Discussion: AMERICAblog
jules crittenden:   Dead by Dawn?  —  Could happen.  MSNBC citing a U.S. military …
Steve Benen / Political Animal:
SADDAM NOT LONG FOR THIS WORLD.... There are some competing reports …
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
Joseph Lieberman / Washington Post:
Why We Need More Troops in Iraq  —  I've just spent 10 days traveling in the Middle East and speaking to leaders there, all of which has made one thing clearer to me than ever: While we are naturally focused on Iraq, a larger war is emerging.  On one side are extremists and terrorists led …
Victor Davis Hanson / Real Clear Politics:
Iran's Ahmadinejad Far Weaker Than He Lets On
Will Weissert / Associated Press:
Many soldiers say troop surge a bad idea  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq - Many of the American soldiers trying to quell sectarian killings in Baghdad don't appear to be looking for reinforcements.  They say the temporary surge in troop levels some people are calling for is a bad idea.
Bob Woodward / Washington Post:
Ford, Nixon Sustained Friendship for Decades  —  Months before Richard M. Nixon set a relatively unknown Michigan congressman named Gerald R. Ford on the path to the White House, Nixon turned to Ford, who called himself the embattled president's "only real friend," to get him out of trouble.
Solomon Moore / Los Angeles Times:
Marines deny airstrikes used against insurgents in Ramadi  —  BAGHDAD — A large-scale U.S. military operation in Ramadi last month did not target suspected insurgents with airstrikes, U.S. military officials said.  —  Witness statements reported by The Times on Nov. 15 indicated …
Jeffrey Gettleman / New York Times:
Somalia Forces Retake Capital From Islamists  —  Just hours after Islamist fighters abandoned Mogadishu, the capital from which they ruled much of Somalia, thousands of troops of the transitional government marched into the city on Thursday in a stunning reversal of fortune.
Discussion: On Deadline and Global Guerrillas
Craig Timberg / Washington Post:   Islamic Movement Troops Abandon Mogadishu
Aaron Beard / Associated Press:
N.C. Bar Files Charges Against Duke D.A.  —  RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina bar filed ethics charges Thursday against the prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse case, accusing him of saying misleading or inflammatory things to the news media about the athletes under suspicion.
New York Times:
Bush Considers Up to 20,000 More Troops for Iraq  —  The Bush administration is considering an increase in troop levels in Iraq of 17,000 to 20,000, which would be accomplished in part by delaying the departure of two Marine regiments now deployed in Anbar Province, Pentagon officials said Thursday.
Steven Erlanger / New York Times:
Israel Confirms Arms Shipment Sent to Aid Abbas  —  After coordination with Israel and the United States, Egypt has sent a shipment of weapons and ammunition into the Gaza Strip to forces loyal to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, Israeli officials said today.
Associated Press:
Sen. Johnson Improves, Is Expected to Miss Start of Congress  —  Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) turned 60 yesterday, two weeks after emergency surgery to repair a brain hemorrhage that has left him in critical condition.  —  Julianne Fisher, a spokeswoman for the senator, said Johnson …
Chavez to shut down opposition TV  —  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he will not renew the licence for the country's second largest TV channel which he said expired in March 2007.  —  In an address to troops, Mr Chavez said he would not tolerate media outlets working towards a coup against him.
Rob Gillies / Associated Press:
Ice mass snaps free from Canada's Arctic  —  TORONTO - A giant ice shelf has snapped free from an island south of the North Pole, scientists said Thursday, citing climate change as a "major" reason for the event.  —  The Ayles Ice Shelf — all 41 square miles of it — broke clear 16 months ago …
Anne Flaherty / Associated Press:
Dems likely to resurrect detainee issue  —  WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats plan to use their newfound power to revisit one of the most contentious national security matters of 2006: Deciding what legal rights must be protected for detainees held in the war on terrorism.
Jon Wiener / The Nation:
Gerald Ford's Legacy: Cheney and Rumsfeld  —  Gerald Ford is gone, but he lives on in two of his key appointees: Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.  Their impact on America today is greater than Ford's, who died Tuesday at 93.  —  Ford appointed Rumsfeld his chief of staff when he took office after Nixon's resignation in 1974.
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 More Items: 
Arab News:
MWL Wants Lawsuits for Abuse of Islam and the Prophet
Darlene Superville /
AP Poll: Bush Both a Villain and a Hero
SilentPatriot / Crooks and Liars:
AP Poll: Bush #1 Villain of 2006
Discussion: Business Wire
Jonathan Singer / MyDD:
New ARG Polling Finds Clinton Strong in Early Nominating States
The Big Trunk / Power Line:
Washington Post:
Bush Considers Economic Package for Iraq
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
Edwards Turns to Non-Tradtional Campaign Model
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Washington Post:
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Investor's Business Daily:
Paging Capt. Hussein  —  Media: After Reuters was burned …
Discussion: and BizzyBlog
The Grassroots Lobbying Fraud - Shutting America Up
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
James Lileks / Jewish World Review:
Looking back on the follies of the year ahead