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Two Democratic officials say President-elect Barack Obama has chosen former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon Panetta to run the CIA. Panetta was a surprise pick for the post, with no experience in the intelligence world. An Obama transition official and another Democrat disclosed his nomination on a condition of anonymity since it was not yet public.

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Authorities say an elderly Port St. Lucie woman was so neglected by her son that her never-removed shoes had grown into her feet.

Investigators were called to an area hospital on Saturday after paramedics found 90-year-old Anna Chuboff emaciated and wearing clothes “soaked in urine.” She had been injured in a fall at her home.

Her son, 68-year-old Robert Rozenti, was arrested and charged with neglect of an elderly person. It wasn’t immediately known whether he had an attorney.

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Gertrude Baines told CNN two years ago that she has taken good care of herself, "the way (God) wanted me to."

Gertrude Baines, a 114-year-old California resident, will likely be crowned the world’s oldest woman, according to the organization that keeps track of such honors.

Gertrude Baines told CNN two years ago that she has taken good care of herself, “the way (God) wanted me to.”

The previous oldest woman was Maria de Jesus, who died this week in Portugal at age 115, Guinness World Records said.

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TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – Clad in suits, thousands of employees and executives flooded a Tokyo shrine dedicated to commerce on Monday, praying to the god to keep their businesses afloat in a new year with a grim economic outlook.

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Businessmen and women waited patiently in the cold on the first working day of 2009 to approach the altar of the Kanda Myojin shrine, established some 1,300 years ago and dedicated to commerce god Ebisu-Sama. “Last year was a really tough year for real estate, and many companies have disappeared. But we’re determined to survive,” said Toshikatsu Takehara, a 34-year-old real estate sales manager who was praying at the shrine.

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AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters Life!) – The thought-provoking literary works of Mahatma Gandhi, India’s iconic freedom fighter, are set to go public after the copyright on his writings and speeches lapses this month.

Anyone will now be able to publish the writings and speeches of the legendary leader, often referred to as the Father of the Nation, since the copyright on these works expires 60 years after his death.

Gandhi, who pioneered the philosophy of non-violent resistance to the British occupation of India, was assassinated on January 30, 1948 in New Delhi by a Hindu radical.

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RICHMOND | Some legislators want Virginia to join the growing chorus of states that have defied the federal government by refusing to participate in a national identification program billed as a way to fight terrorism and identity theft.

Two pieces of legislation for consideration when lawmakers return to Richmond on Jan. 14 call for Virginia to ignore the federal mandate to come into compliance with the Real ID Act by the end of 2009.

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New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on Sunday announced that he was withdrawing his nomination to be President-elect Barack Obama’s commerce secretary amid a grand jury investigation into how some of his political donors won a lucrative state contract.

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Retired tennis ace Anna Kournikova now focusing on her modeling career.  Good Choice Anna!  You are definitely a better model than tennis player.  Check these hot pics inside.

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Researchers in Scotland have been given nearly half a million pounds to try to improve digital camera images.

The team, lead by scientists at the University of Glasgow, are developing small nanostructures that would be used on light detecting image sensors. These new hi-tech chips would be used in camera equipment to produce sharper and more colourful images.

The researchers are using a phenomenon called surface plasmon resonance, which is an effect exhibited by certain metals when light waves fall onto their surfaces. In digital cameras, this is the metal film used on microchip image sensors – known as a CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) – that detect light waves and convert them into digital signals.

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Sun sets over Gaza Strip (4 January 2009)

Fighting is raging into the night in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli ground forces and heavy armour have effectively cut the territory in two.

Supported by a naval, air and land bombardment, they have taken up positions on either side of Gaza City and along a major east-west road. About 40 tanks were moving towards Khan Younis in the south, reports say.

An EU mission has flown to the region. The bloc’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, said the crisis represented a failure of diplomacy. At least 32 missiles were fired into southern Israel from Gaza on Sunday. Two people were lightly wounded in the Eshkol region, while one woman was slightly injured in Sderot.

Palestinian officials say 70 people have been killed in the ground assault. One Israeli soldier has been killed.

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