Friday's Newswrap

President Bush has condemned Russia's "bullying". Speaking earlier today, G.W. said that "bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways of conducting foreign policy in the 21st Century". In a press conference earlier in the day with Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that it the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia were "unlikely to live together with Georgia". For her part, German Chancellor Merkel said that she felt that Russia's actions had been "disproportionate". Georgian

President Mikheil Saakashvili has now signed the cease-fire agreement after 5 hours of talks with Secretary of State Condi Rice. Related, Russia has threatened to "punish" Poland for finally agreeing to host the US missile shield in Eastern Europe. Human Rights Watch has claimed that Russia is using cluster bombs, which were outlawed by 106 countries in a deal, lead by British PM Gordon Borwn, endorsed in May to be formally signed in December. Russia was not among the 107 countries to endorse the deal, nor was Georgia or the United States, both of which, in addition to Russia, are known to have cluster munitions. One Dutch news organisation is reporting that the slain Dutch cameraman was the victim of a clusterbomb (dodgy translation).

Nepal has elected a new leader after it's monarchy was deposed months ago. Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known simply as Prachanda, will become the new Nepalese Republic's first Prime Minister. Echoing Britsh security lapses, a sensitive government document was found lying in a puddle before being handed into CBC News. In Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is threatening to call an election whilst his party attempts to obstruct an investigation into his parties finances. In Africa, Botswana is to boycott the Southern African Develpment Community (SADC) meeting this weekend over Zimbabwe. Botswana has said that Zimbabwe should not be represented at the meeting be members of the Zanu-PF regime.

In business, crude oil has fallen to a three-month low of just under $112 a barrel. Falling demand and a stronger dollar has lead the fall from record highs reached earlier this year. One of the many stories about impending recession from Europe, this one from France's Liberation. Bad news for Red Bull GmbH: Red Bull gives yo heart trouble!

In the US Presidential campaign, Barack Obama is hitting back against the smear campaign book by publishing a rebuttal entitled 'Unfit for Publication'. Unfit for Publication can be found here (PDF). Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson takes issue with the smear book itself. In the UK, the two murdered Chinese students have been linked to an internet betting scam. In California, continuing its record on green power, the state is to install two large solar plants.

Odd news for today: Californian police have arrested Cinderella, Snow White, Tinkerbell, and other Disney characters for a misdemeanor count of failure to obey a police officer and two traffic infractions at Disneyland Park; and twin baby panda's have been born in China. Finally in odd news, Nils Olav, the honorary colonal-in-chief of the Norwegain King's Guard has been knighted. The odd bit is that he is a 3-foot tall penguin. Friday's in-depth story, again from PRI's The World, is about circumcision in Uganda.

Every news website, in every country, in ever language today has a feature on Madonna turning 50. I've choosen the Guardian's 50 facts about Madonna at 50. It also has a picture gallery of Madonna through the ages. Finally, more fakery in China: the ethnically diverse children at the opening ceremony, were not from different ethnicities.

Current Olympic rankings:

  1. China - 25 Gold, 9 Silver, 6 Bronze, 40 total
  2. USA - 14 Gold, 12 Silver, 18 Bronze, 44 total
  3. Germany - 8 Gold, 2 Silver, 4 Bronze, 14 total
  4. Korea (South) - 6 Gold, 8 Silver, 3 Bronze, 17 total
  5. Italy - 6 Gold, 4 Silver, 4 Bronze, 14 total
  6. Japan - 6 Gold, 4 Silver, 3 Bronze, 13 total
  7. Australia - 5 Gold, 7 Silver, 8 Bronze, 20 total
  8. Russia - 3 Gold, 8 Silver, 8 Bronze, 19 total
  9. France - 3 Gold, 8 Silver, 7 Bronze, 18 total
  10. Great Britain - 3 Gold, 2 Silver, 3 Bronze, 8 total

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