Pop singer Fergie married boyfriend Josh Duhamel

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Pop singer Fergie married boyfriend Josh Duhamel today at a private ocean-side wedding in Malibu, Calif., Us reports. Draped in Dolce & Gabbana, the couple exchanged personally engraved rings; Fergie wore a diamond-draped veil worth millions. Despite Fergie’s efforts to ditch them, paparazzi hovered over the wedding in helicopters, the San Francisco Chronicle and Contra Costa Times report.

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Michael Jackson is terminally ill and has only 6 months to live

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Michael Jackson‘s pals fear the star has only six months to live, a shocking new report claims.

Reports in December claimed the Thriller hitmaker, 50, is battling a deadly genetic disorder and requires a lung transplant.

Although Jackson has denied the claims, American tabloid the National Enquirer says his health is deteriorating rapidly because of a crippling addiction to painkillers and alcohol.

A source told the publication, “It’s tragic. His condition is just so far gone, I’d be surprised if he lasts six months.

“Painkillers and booze have caught up with him. The only way he was able to cope with the stress of sex scandals and his roller-coaster life was to mask the pain with substance abuse.

“But the end result is an addiction that will kill him.

“His dependency on drugs dates back to when his hair was burned making a Pepsi commercial 25-years-ago. The drugs simply have ravaged him.

“He’s in really, really bad shape. He’s been sick for six to eight months and he just keeps getting worse.

“His muscles and lungs are deteriorating, and he’s bedridden much of the time. He can walk, but not for very long.

“On good days, Michael is able to take his kids to a bookstore. But he’s never out for more than an hour. He has very little strength…It’s ultimately in God’s hands.”

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Melting Snow Floods

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More than 30,000 people were urged to leave their flood-endangered western Washington homes as snowmelt and rain swelled rivers and caused mudslides and avalanches that engulfed neighborhoods and roadways. Warmer temperatures and heavy rains were rapidly melting the deep snow that dumped on the Cascade mountains over the weekend.

Rising waters led state highway crews to close a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 5 last night, and the state’s three major east-west routes across the Cascade mountains are closed as well. Those routes may reopen sometime today, but authorities fear I-5, which carries 10,000 trucks a day, could be closed for days. The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for about two dozen rivers in western Washington.(Source)

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Al-Qaeda’s No. 2 leader urged Muslims to take revenge against Israel

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“My Muslim brothers and mujahedeens in Gaza and all over Palestine, with the help of God we are with you in the battle, we will direct our strikes against the crusader Jewish coalition wherever we can,” said Zawahiri. Obama, who said today he was “deeply concerned” about the loss of life in Gaza, had no immediate response.

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Coleman sues over Minnesota Senate

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Republican Norm Coleman said Tuesday he is suing to challenge Democrat Al Franken‘s apparent recount victory in Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race, delaying a resolution of the contest for weeks or months.

At a news conference filled with cheering supporters, Coleman said he won’t accept an electoral board’s determination a day earlier that Franken won 225 more votes in the November election. He had a seven-day window to file the lawsuit.

“We are filing this contest to make absolutely sure every valid vote was counted and no one’s was counted more than anyone else’s,” Coleman said.

Coleman shrugged off the idea that he might concede the election to avoid a protracted fight that could leave Minnesota with only a single senator in Washington for months.

“Something greater than expediency is at stake here,” Coleman said. He added: “Democracy is not a machine. Sometimes it’s messy and inconvenient, and reaching the best conclusion is never quick because speed is not the first objective, fairness is.”

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Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair will receive the highest civilian award in the US

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The Presidential Medal of Freedom will be awarded by George W. Bush to Tony Blair, in his last week in office.

The ceremony will take place at the White House on 13 January.

A spokesman for Tony Blair said the award reflected:

the true courage of the men and women of the British armed forces who, through their service and sacrifice, have safeguarded freedom, democracy and human rights around the globe.

Foreign affairs spokesman Edward Davey said:

“Tony Blair should be spending next week helping to fix the mess in Gaza, not receiving an award for the biggest foreign policy disaster in recent history and his silence over Guantanamo Bay.”

“It is not surprising that this announcement has been left until after Tony Blair has left office and when George Bush is packing his bags. It is simply too controversial to be sold to voters.”

The medal of freedom, awarded by the US President, is the highest civilian award in the US, alongside the congressional gold medal – awarded by Congress.

Mr Blair was awarded the congressional gold medal in July 2003, shortly after the invasion of Iraq, but he has yet to collect it.(Source:BBC)

Here you can see The Presidential Medal of Freedom.(Picture 1 , Picture 2 )

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Iran dismisses the chance of a US strike

TEHRAN, Iran – The head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards dismissed the possibility of a U.S. military action against Iran and warned that his forces would respond with an “even more decisive” strike if attacked, an Iranian news agency reported Friday.

The comments by Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari came after the United States announced sweeping new sanctions against Iran focusing on the Revolutionary Guards, a force that is tasked with protecting Iran’s Islamic government and reports to the country’s supreme leader.

The sanctions step up tensions between the United States and Iran, where many fear Washington is planning military action. The U.S. accuses the Guards of supporting terrorism by backing Shiite militants in Iraq. Washington also accuses Tehran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons and has vowed to prevent it from doing so — though the Bush administration insists it is seeking diplomatic means. Iran denies trying to build weapons.

Asked about the possibility of an American strike on Iran, Jafari told reporters late Thursday that, “These words are just exaggerations, and I don’t consider them a threat,” the news agency ISNA reported.

“The Islamic Republic has the strength and power of its people’s faith. This power is joined with experience, knowledge and technology in the realms of defense. The enemy knows it cannot make any mistake, so these words are just exaggeration,” he said.

The sanctions ban U.S. dealings with the extensive network of businesses believed linked to the Guards — and put stepped-up pressure on international banks to cut any ties with those firms.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini dismissed the new U.S. measures as “worthless and ineffective” and said they were “doomed to fail as before.”

Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi vowed that anyone who attacks Iran would “find itself faced with a hard and crushing response,” though he said the probability of American attack is “very small.”

“America knows well that while it can start such an attack, how it ends will not be in Washington’s hands, and such an attack will lead to America’s collapse,” he told journalists during a visit to Kuwait on Thursday, according to the Iranian state news agency IRNA.

China, a key ally of Iran, warned Friday that the sanctions could increase tensions over Iran’s nuclear program.

“Dialogue and negotiations are the best approach to resolving the Iranian nuclear issue,” the ministry said in a brief statement in response to a question from The Associated Press. “To impose new sanctions on Iran at a time when international society and the Iranian authorities are working hard to find a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue can only complicate the issue.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was due to visit China over the weekend to lobby for intensified U.N. sanctions against Iran, the Israeli Embassy said Friday.

Washington has already won two U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions.

Despite their government’s insistence that U.S. and U.N. sanctions aren’t causing any pain, some leading Iranians have begun to say publicly that the pressure does hurt. And on Tehran’s streets, people are increasingly worried over the economic pinch.

Iran’s economy is struggling, with dramatic price rises this year. The cost of housing and basic foodstuffs like vegetables have doubled or even quadrupled. The government also has imposed unpopular fuel rationing in an attempt to reduce expensive subsidies for imported gasoline.

The sanctions have heightened resentment of the United States among some in the public. But they are also fueling criticism among Iranian politicians that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is mismanaging the crisis with hard-line stances that worsen the standoff with the West.

Ahmadinejad and his allies are likely counting on sanctions to rally Iranians against the United States.

“Hard-liners in Tehran were looking forward for the sanctions. It helps them hide their incompetence behind the embargo,” said political commentator Saeed Laylaz.

But many conservatives who once backed Ahmadinejad have joined his critics. They point to his failure to fulfill promises to repair the economy — despite increased oil revenues — and say his fiery rhetoric goads the West into punishing Iran.

Ahmadinejad on Wednesday called earlier U.N. sanctions, which punish a list of Iranian companies believed linked to the nuclear program, “a pile of papers that have no value.”

Most notably, the new sanctions ban dealings with two major Iranian banks, Bank Melli and Bank Mellat, adding them to a list of already banned banks. That means the banks will have difficulty turning to European banks for dollars, said Matthew Levitt, a former Treasury Department terrorism expert now with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

(This version CORRECTS the spelling of Guards commander’s name to ‘Jafari’ sted ‘Jaafari’.)


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