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The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush during a news conference was beaten afterward and had bruises on his face and around his eyes, a judge said Friday.

President-elect Barack Obama is nearly finished choosing his Cabinet as he prepares to leave Saturday on a holiday vacation in his native Hawaii.

Democratic Rep. Hilda Solis of California will be Barack Obama’s pick for labor secretary as the president-elect fills the last open positions in his Cabinet, a labor official told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Alaska officials are investigating racist jokes about President-elect Barack Obama that have been circulating on state government e-mail accounts.

The jailed journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush has asked for a pardon for what he described as “an ugly act,” a spokesman for Iraq’s prime minister said Thursday.

Gay rights advocates are criticizing President-elect Barack Obama‘s choice of a popular evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, saying it shows disrespect for a constituency that strongly supported his campaign.

ARUSHA, Tanzania — The main organizer behind the 1994 slaughter of more than 500,000 people in Rwanda was convicted of genocide Thursday and sentenced to life in prison, the most significant verdict of a U.N. tribunal set up to bring the killers to justice.

The BBC is reporting that there is strong evidence that many adults and children are being used as slaves in Darfur. They also report that the Sudanese army has been abducting young women to use as sex slaves.

President-elect Barack Obama had just one disclaimer when he announced former pro-basketball player Arne Duncan as his education secretary: “I did not select Arne because he’s one of the best basketball players I know.”

In not-so-surprising-but-still-relevant news, Time magazine has chosen Barack Obama as its Person of the Year in 2008.

Barack Obama is on a pre-holiday roll to fill his Cabinet, with two more nominations in former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack for agriculture secretary and Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar to lead the Interior Department.

People all over the world are reacting to Iraqi journalist, Muntadhar al-Zeidi and his act of defiance in throwing two shoes at President Bush. Many people are calling him a hero, others a villain. Most people seem to find the whole incident hilarious.