News briefs

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The following stories made international headlines Tuesday:

Ukraine may pull troops out of Iraq

One day after eight of its soldiers were killed in an Iraqi blast, Ukraine's new government may decide to withdraw all troops from peacekeeping duty in Iraq.

Sources: Reuters,Washington Post (free registration may be required)

Pope addresses diplomatic corps saying 'challenges of life' is the main issue

Pope John Paul II, speaking from the Vatican City, spoke out on a host of social issues including abortion, cloning, same-sex marriage, assisted procreation and the use of embryonic stem cells.

Source:Chicago Tribune

Italy smoking ban forces citizens to the streets

In less than 24 hours after a country-wide ban on indoor smoking went into place, citizens took to the streets demanding smoker’s rights be restored. Restaurant owners face fines of €2,000 and loss of their license; smokers face fines of €27.50 for each offense.

Sources:International Herald Tribune, New York Times

News Corp to re-buy Fox

In what is called a "reverse spinoff," Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has offered about US$5.9 billion in stock to buy up all the Fox Entertainment Group shares that it doesn't already own.

Sources:News Corporation Press release, Reuters, Australian Broadcasting Corporation