Friday, January 25 in the news.....
- Pakistan on Friday successfully test-fired a medium-range, nuclear-capable missile, an event witnessed by the nation's new army chief, the military said. The test involved a road between two local towns, a vest, a tracksuit, jogging shoes and a man with a long beard.
- Egyptian border guards appeared to be taking steps to close the border with the Gaza Strip on Friday, forming a human chain and blocking movement of Palestinians into Egypt with their riot shields, witnesses said. Gaza's Hamas rulers successfully broke through the internationally supported Israeli closure and see it as a victory for the Palestinians. Israel's government was not happy but mocked the move, saying Israelis don't break through walls to get to Egypt, they part the Red Sea to get out.
- US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday the challenges facing Colombia will only get harder if a trade deal with Washington doesn't pass, as she met with union members during a visit to try to revive the pact. The union members want regulations and restrictions in the USA removed from some of their goods, specifically, cocaine.
- After a prominent bank lost $7 billion on the back of a single rogue trader, France stepped up efforts to restore confidence in the banking system as the bank, Societe Generale, faced tough questions on Friday over why it failed to prevent the biggest financial dealing scandal in history. It opened up a spat between the bank and the French government, with the government accusing the bank of failing to maintain the confidence of the French people with its defences against this sort of situation, and the bank accusing the French government of causing a similar scandal in 1940.
- The White House and the Democratic-led Congress on Thursday reached a tentative deal on an economic stimulus package, President Bush wanted it to go through as quick as possible on the back of market uncertainty about the US economic direction. The President said there was no time to salt the clouds in the hope of rain, when asked to explain what he meant the President responded, "Rainbows? Leprechauns?"
- Russia's Central Election Commission said on Thursday it had grounds to disqualify former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov from running as an independent in a March presidential election, news agencies reported. Kasyanov was Putin's first prime minister but became a Kremlin critic after losing his job in 2004. It is not known if the former prime minister will fight the disqualification and go on campaigning or accept the terms of it and live past March.