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Highlights from the world's press

Compiled by Ravi Agrawal for CNN
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(CNN) -- It's been quite a year. North Korea tested a nuclear device. The world watched while bombs rained on Lebanon. The death toll in Iraq, both civilian and military, mounted. The situation in Afghanistan worsened. Saddam Hussein was tried and sentenced to death. Climate change was on everyone's minds with dire predictions about the devastating impact it could have on the planet.

And so the world's press has had plenty to debate and discuss.

Here's a look at how some of the papers we've followed in The Briefing Room are looking back at 2006.

For the International Herald Tribune, words aren't as evocative as pictures of the memories we attach to historic events. The paper has compiled a 2006 review in picturesexternal link

"Photographs steal a moment in history to offer a second chance to ponder an image more closely and the deeper tale revealed over the slow passage of time. The indelible images of 2006 are in some cases instantly recognizable symbols with the power to celebrate, condemn or provoke. Who can forget Zinedine Zidane, ending a glorious career and World Cup final in an explosive rage? Or Nancy Pelosi, the first female speaker of the House of Representatives, a spark of blue violet against men in dark suits surrounding her on a podium in Washington? War is a dominant theme of the year's photographs. A lone man stumbles through a southern Beirut suburb that was crushed by Israeli air strikes. A young soldier lies in pain in Iraq, a victim of a sniper shooting in a war that had claimed almost 3,000 American troops and tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqis."

One of the lighter pieces in The New York Times looking back at 2006, examines the politics of foodexternal link. The things that Americans thought they should eat more of -- spinach and lettuce -- were suddenly the ones that made them sick or even killed them in 2006, the paper says. "This was the year when Americans got in touch with their food, and its varied political and social connections came into focus in different media. The slow drip-drip-drip of foodborne outbreaks over the last 20 years has not desensitized people to the fact that food can harbor harmful bacteria; it has made them skittish. After the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in spinach in August, sales of the vegetable plummeted 60 percent. When the fruits or vegetables from dozens of farms are combined before shipping, the opportunities for contamination are greatly increased. The discovery of contaminated produce is happening at a time when advice about eating more fruits and vegetables seems to be having an impact."

The Sunday Times Magazine in the UK also does a year-in-pictures retrospective, deciding to look at the lighter side of things: "Bombs rained on Lebanon, the death toll mounted in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and, seemingly unable to provide lasting solutions, politicians could only offer light relief. George Galloway danced in a leotard, and we were compelled to imagine John Prescott having an affair. While Bush really did say 'Yo, Blair' to the prime minister, David Cameron never actually said 'hug a hoodie,' but the catchphrase stuck. And it wasn't just politicians making us wince. England's sporting teams gave us a hat trick of failures: In football, rugby, and cricket."

And the UK's Guardian shows us all how New Year predictions never work out. In the paper's "Comment is Free" blog, Brian Whitaker highlights examples of prominent 2006 predictions that never really worked out.

"Genuine would-be prophets are getting harder to find but fortunately there are still a few willing to stick their necks out and amuse us. When I asked colleagues last week to nominate their Soothsayer of the Year, several came up with Bruce Anderson of The Independent, who began his column on January 2 with the words: 'This is an especially foolish moment to try and predict the future,' but continued: In the U.S. ... it is no longer the economy, stupid. It is Iraq. I believe that after the latest elections, there will be enough progress to allow the Americans to reduce troop numbers without appearing to scuttle. If this is true, and the casualty figures continue to fall, it ought to be possible for the President to make a case which would win the respect of the majority of American voters. That will help with the mid-term elections. It would never have been easy for the Republicans to lose control of either the Houses of Congress ... if my Iraqi prediction is right, George Bush will maintain his reputation as a party builder."

2006: A year when violence spiralled in Iraq.




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