Baghdad, Dec. 18 (Reuters): Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd who has mediated among the country’s Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties, was in hospital today after suffering a stroke that left him in “critical but stable condition”, government sources said.
Talabani’s office said he was admitted to a Baghdad hospital last night and the 79-year-old President was in stable condition under intensive medical supervision after receiving treatment for blocked arteries.
Dec. 18 (Reuters): Toyota Motor Corp has been ordered to pay a record fine of $17.35 million for failing to report a safety defect to the US government in a timely manner, the US department of transportation said.
Ships to Syria
Beirut (Reuters): Russia sent warships to the Mediterranean to prepare a potential evacuation of its citizens from Syria, a Russian news agency said on Tuesday, a sign President Bashar al-Assad’s key ally is worried about rebel advances that now threaten even the capital.
Bloemfontein, South Africa (Reuters): South Africa’s ruling African National Congress re-elected President Jacob Zuma as its leader on Tuesday, setting him up for seven more years as head of state of Africa’s biggest economy.
London (AP): The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge made her first public appearance on Sunday night since her hospitalisation for acute morning sickness. Looking healthy and strong, the former Kate Middleton presented awards at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year prizes, which were broadcast throughout Britain. She wore a dark green outfit.