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Archive for December, 2011

Number of Japanese 20-year-olds hits low

TOKYO, Dec. 31 (UPI) — The number of 20-year-olds in Japan has fallen to an all-time low of 1.2 million, less than half its high of 2.4 million in 1970, the government said Saturday.

The number of 20-year-olds — the legal age of adulthood in the co…

GOP candidates gear up for Iowa caucuses

DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 31 (UPI) — Republican presidential candidates are gearing up for the Tuesday Iowa caucuses, campaigning through the holiday weekend, officials said.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is the only candidate who took off the weekend to spen…

New Year starts in Samoa for first time

For the first time, the western Pacific countries of Samoa and Tokelau marked the beginning of a new year Saturday as the rest of the world geared up for 2012.

The world has at least 24 time zones and since the two island countries opted to skip Dec….

Kim Jong Un named head of armed forces

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Dec. 31 (UPI) — North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong Un, has been named supreme commander of the country’s armed forces, strengthening his authority, state media reported.

The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the ru…

British soldier killed in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 31 (UPI) — A British soldier on foot patrol in Afghanistan was killed by a roadside bomb, the Ministry of Defense announced Saturday.

The unidentified soldier was a member of the Yorkshire Regiment, working as part of NATO’s…

Search called off for California kayaker

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 31 (UPI) — The sea and air search for a missing kayaker off the California coast near Malibu has been called off, Coast Guard officials said.

Coast Guard spokesman Seth Johnson told the Los Angeles Times the 87-foot cutter Halibut …

Somali troops retake key central town

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Dec. 31 (UPI) — A central town in Somalia held by al-Qaida-associated fighters was taken back Saturday by some 3,000 Somali and Ethiopian forces, residents said.

The town of Beletweyn had been under the control of the militant al…

GOP lays out top 3 resolutions for 2012

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 (UPI) — The Republican Party has three political goals for the New Year that all fall under the goal of job creation, Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia said Saturday.

In the party’s final weekly media address of 2011, the senator sa…

Bird flu death reported in southern China

SHENZHEN, China, Dec. 31 (UPI) — A 39-year-old man in southern China near the Hong Kong border has died of avian flu, the first such death in more than a year, health officials said Saturday.

The man went to a hospital in Shenzen on Dec. 21 and test…

Obama: Public made ‘the difference’ in ’11

KAILUA, Hawaii, Dec. 31 (UPI) — President Barack Obama said Saturday the American public “made all the difference” in getting Congress to take steps to help the middle class in 2011.

In his final weekly radio and Internet address of the year, Obama …

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