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A venomous brown snake swims in Australia's flooded Fitzroy River, which broke its banks and inundated much of Rockhampton. (AFP/Getty Images)

Rarin' To Go: Congress Returns Tomorrow

Jan 4, 2011

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Salman Taseer

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The next Congress officially convenes tomorrow but who's waiting? As NPR's Frank James writes over on the It's All Politics blog, Item One is the new health care law.

As part of their Pledge to America, House Republicans promised to act to repeal the law soon after they take control. And they take charge Wednesday. Given that, Republicans have decided to go with an earlier vote than some had thought though not as soon as this week.

PAKISTANI GOVERNOR KILLED IN CAPITAL

Reuters and AP report Punjab governor Salman Taseer was shot to death in an Islamabad market popular with foreign tourists. The AP says Taseer was killed by a member of his own security team.

SEWAGE, SNAKES, CROCS AND MORE AUSTRALIAN FLOODING

More disaster lies ahead for Australia, as authorities warn dangerous reptiles lurk in fouled floodwater. Australia's ABC describes the Fitzroy River in submerged Rockhampton as "a chocolatey, yellow colour and choking with debris". The city is one of at least 22 in northeast Australia that's enduring the worst flooding ever, with some 200,000 out of their homes. The Sydney Morning Herald warns the disaster could spread south beyond Queensland state into New South Wales, home to Australia's capital, Canberra.

SECOND DELEGATION FAILS TO MOVE IVORY COAST'S GBAGBO

A group of West African leaders is briefing Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan on their second, futile effort to persuade Laurent Gbagbo to peacefully leave power in Ivory Coast. As AP reports, Jonathan holds the rotating presidency of regional political bloc, ECOWAS; the group has threatened Gbagbo with war if he won't leave. He won't leave - increasing chances for war.

NEW VERB FOR 2011

From the Ghanaian blog, Myjoyonline.com:

Gbagbo - To Obstinately Refuse to Reason

When used as a noun, Gbagbo refers to the obstinate intransigence that dispels reason and compromise, and encourages civil war.

...to gbagbo is to refuse to reason in the face of apparent danger. It is a regular verb, which means that its conjugation will follow the regular form, as in dance and watch. The past tense form is gbagboed, gbagboing being the gerund and the past participle taking the simple past tense form of the verb.

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