This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
Each year, the editors and news directors of the Associated Press choose what
they believe are the top ten news stories of the year.
chose the war in Iraq as the number one news story this year. 2006 was a
difficult year in Iraq with increasing violence, clashes between religious
groups, and many civilian deaths. Thousands of Iraqis have been killed.
Almost 3,000 members of the American military have been killed since the
war began in 2003. Iraq's elected officials struggled to keep control of the
The midterm elections in the United States November 7 was next on the
list of the AP's top news stories for this year. Many Americans voted to express
their unhappiness with the situation in Iraq.
The Democratic Party gained a majority of seats in both the House of
Representatives and the Senate. As a result, Nancy Pelosi of California will
become the first woman to serve as speaker of the House.
These were the other top stories of the year. The United States and its
allies worked unsuccessfully to halt nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran.
North Korea tested a nuclear weapon in October. And Iran moved forward with
plans to bring its first nuclear center into operation by the end of next year.
In Washington, the United States Congress tried to deal with the problem of
illegal immigration from Latin America. But deep divisions prevented Congress
from approving legislation. Supporters of rights for immigrants held several
Also in Washington, several congressmen from the Republican Party were
involved in cases of wrongdoing. One was former House majority leader Tom DeLay
who resigned after being charged with campaign finance crimes. Another was
former representative Mark Foley. He resigned after he was found to have sent
sexual messages to male students working for Congress.
Another top story was former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein being found guilty
of ordering the killing of 148 Shi'ite Muslims. He was sentenced to death by
In the Middle East, Israel and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia fought a
month-long war during the summer. More than 900 people were killed. Much of
southern Lebanon was severely damaged.
American Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigned one day after the
nation's midterm elections. Robert Gates was approved as the new defense
In August, officials in Britain said they prevented a terrorist plot to bomb
several passenger airplanes over the Atlantic Ocean. This led to new
restrictions on what passengers can carry on planes.
And in Sudan, violence worsened in the country's Darfur area. Fighting
between rebels and government forces has killed more than 200,000 people.
IN THE NEWS, in VOA Special English, was written by Brianna Blake.
I'm Steve Ember.