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World's oldest person dies

MONROE -- The woman listed as the world's oldest person died Tuesday in a Georgia nursing home at age 116.

Besse Cooper died peacefully Tuesday afternoon in Monroe, according to her son, Sidney Cooper.

Cooper said his mother had been ill recently with a stomach virus, then felt better on Monday. On Tuesday, he said, she had her hair set and watched a Christmas video, but later had trouble breathing. She was put on oxygen in her room and died there about 2 p.m., Cooper said.

Besse Cooper was declared the world's oldest person in January 2011. In May 2011, Guinness World Records learned Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was 48 days older. Valentin died the next month.

Omnibus-bill vote lasts six hours

OTTAWA -- Efforts by opposition parties to amend the Conservative government's latest omnibus budget bill culminated with around six hours of voting Tuesday.

Bill C-45 rings in at over 400 pages and like its predecessors makes changes to myriad rules and regulations, some that were explicitly in the Conservatives' last budget and some that weren't.

As the final group of amendments proposed by the opposition went to a vote late Tuesday night, the NDP began to chant "2015," a reference to the next federal election, which is when they say the Harper government will be held accountable for the bill.

"Conservatives may have destroyed much tonight but Canadians will ultimately win!" tweeted NDP MP Peter Julian.

The Conservative majority government allowed none of the amendments to pass.

Palestinians eye Israeli charges

JERUSALEM -- Days after winning upgraded status at the United Nations, the Palestinians are threatening to join the world's first permanent war-crimes court and pursue charges against the Israelis.

Although the Palestinians say any decision is still a long way off, the mere threat has unnerved Israel. But pressing a case may not be so simple and could potentially leave the Palestinians themselves vulnerable to prosecution.

Since winning recognition as a non-member observer state in the United Nations General Assembly last week, the Palestinians believe they now qualify for membership in the International Criminal Court. In opposing the Palestinian bid at the UN, Israel repeatedly cited Palestinian threats to turn to the ICC to prosecute Israeli officials for a variety of alleged crimes, ranging from actions by the Israeli military to Israel's construction of Jewish settlements on occupied land.

Philippines typhoon kills dozens

MANILA, Philippines -- Torrential floods from a powerful typhoon engulfed emergency shelters and an army truck carrying soldiers and villagers who were fleeing their homes in the southern Philippines, raising the death toll from the storm to at least 74.

At least 43 of the victims drowned in one village. Rain accumulated atop a mountain and flooded down on Andap village in New Bataan town in hard-hit Compostela Valley province, Gov. Arturo Uy said. A school and village hall where evacuees were staying was swamped by the flash flood and an army truck carrying soldiers and villagers was washed away, according to Uy and army officials.

Some 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines annually, but they more commonly hit the northern and central provinces.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 5, 2012 A9

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