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Thursday, Dec 25th

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UN: One-third of Gaza dead, injured are children

As of Thursday, 257 children were among the approximately 760 reported dead in Gaza. There were another 1,080 children among the 3,100 injured in the conflict, according to statistics from Gaza's health ministry.

The U.N.'s top humanitarian official, John Holmes, described the numbers as "credible" and deeply disturbing. U.N officials say about half of the casualties were civilians.

"It's particularly distressing and horrifying that the current casualties seem to be increasingly civilian casualties, with an increasing incidence of whole families being buried in houses which have been hit," Holmes said.

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Israel 'shelled civilian shelter'

Israeli forces shelled a house in the Gaza Strip which they had moved around 110 Palestinians into 24 hours earlier, the UN quotes witnesses as saying.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) called it "one of the gravest incidents" since the beginning of the offensive.

The shelling at Zeitoun, a south-east suburb of Gaza City, on 5 January killed some 30 people, the report said.

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Cheney: CIA did nothing illegal in interrogations

Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday that he sees no reason for President George W. Bush to pre-emptively pardon anyone at the CIA involved in harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists. "I don't have any reason to believe that anybody in the agency did anything illegal," he said.

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TVNL Comment: Someone please send Cheney copies of the Geneva Conventions.  The man is a war criminal.

Israel accused over Gaza wounded

The Red Cross has accused Israel of failing to fulfil its obligation to help wounded civilians in Gaza.

ICRC staff found four weak and scared children beside their mothers' bodies in houses hit by shelling in Zeitoun.

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Vatican Cardinal - Gaza Like A Nazi Death Camp

Cardinal Renato Martino, the Vatican's justice and peace minister, was quoted by the online Italian daily Il Sussidiario as saying the conditions in Gaza "increasingly resemble a big concentration camp."

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Women banned from Baghdad shrine

Iraqi authorities have closed a major shrine in Baghdad's Kadhimiya area to women amid security concerns as a Shia religious ceremony reaches its climax.

Ashura is among the holiest days for Shia Muslims, but women will be barred from the Imam Moussa al-Kadhim shrine.

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TVNL Comment: Iraqi women had full equality under Saddam!

Ex-Guantánamo detainee describes torture

When Muhammad Saad Iqbal arrived home here in August after more than six years in U.S. custody, including five at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, he had difficulty walking, his left ear was severely infected, and he was dependent on a cocktail of antibiotics and antidepressants.

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