FALLEN SOLDIER: The Taliban's rare winter offensive claimed the life of another Canadian soldier when an IED killed Trooper Brian Richard Good and wounded three of his comrades. Good was the tenth roadside bomb casualty in just more than a month, and the Taliban has vowed to litter the roads of Kandahar province with makeshift bombs and the bodies of coalition soldiers. A military strike on a bomb-making cell in eastern Afghanistan erupted into a firefight that the United States military claimed left 32 insurgents dead.

Capt. Robert Semrau, accused of murdering an unarmed and wounded enemy fighter in Afghanistan, was released from custody by a military judge under a series of court-imposed conditions.

TEMPORARY REPRIEVE: Israel briefly halted its Gaza offensive to allow humanitarian aid -- to which Canada contributed $4 million
-- to enter the war-ravaged area, although the Israeli military was
ordered to press ahead with its assault on Hamas. At least 688
Palestinians have been killed since the fighting began, and wide gaps remained between the demands made by Israel and Hamas for a permanent truce. The Israel Defence Forces
have released video of airstrikes to the Internet in a bid to showcase
its surgical precision, however a Gaza-based Associated Press reporter
claimed one such video showed the destruction of his apartment building.


FAMILY GUY: The alleged leader of British Columbia's Bountiful polygamist community was one of two people arrested and charged with having multiple wives. B.C.'s attorney general said that the case against Winston Blackmore will be the first time that the law banning polygamy is prosecuted.

TETE-A-TETE-A-TETE-A-TETE: Staring down the twin barrels of a flailing economy and a Middle East on fire, president-elect Barack Obama turned toward the only people on the planet who understand the task ahead of him -- American ex-presidents. In what he described as an "extraordinary" meeting, Obama convened with former presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as President George W. Bush, to discuss the challenges facing the United States.

Obama was also busy ducking the ongoing controversy swirling around Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's appointment of Roland Burris to replace the president-elect in the Senate. Senior Democrats dramatically softened their tone when it came to preventing Burris from taking the seat, and one senior party member admitted that Blagojevich called their bluff.

FOLLOWING THE SCRIPT: Indian officials released a chilling transcript of phone calls that were made by the attackers responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the transcripts -- which included orders to kill hostages being met with audible cheers -- made it clear that the attackers did not act alone, and must have had help from state agencies in Pakistan.

STRANGE CASE: Many questions were raised after the disappearance of 11-year-old Adam Herrman was reported last week -- almost a decade after the boy was last seen. Authorities began the investigation by searching the area where his family's mobile home once stood, and the boy's adoptive parents claimed they felt "very guilty" about not reporting his disappearance earlier.

BAD NEIGHBOUR: States of emergency were called in parts of eastern Europe after Russia cut off the region's gas supply via Ukraine, a move endorsed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Both Ukraine and Russia blamed each other for the crisis, while the EU condemned both countries for taking the continent's energy supply hostage.