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cnn news on 12.29

From the CNN center in Atlanta, I'm Nicole Lapin. Thanks so much for tracking in with us today, here is a look at what's happening NOW IN THE NEWS.

Chaos is unfolding in Somalia's capital. Ethiopian-backed Somali troops are in Mogadishu , and the government has imposed a state of emergency. The Islamic militia that controlled Mogadishu for months abandoned the city just hours ago. There are all reports of wide spread looting now. The Islamic militia has vowed to regroup and regain control of the Somalia capital.

Millions of Muslim from all around the world are in Mecca, Saudi Arabia for the start of the annual HAJJ Pilgrimage. Every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it must take a trip at least once in a life time. Saudi Arabia has stepped up security and has issued warnings to avoid deadly stampedes that have killed people in previous years.

It looks like Saddam Hussein's execution is no longer a question of "if" but "when". It could have been anytime over the next few weeks. An appeals court Tuesday upheld his death sentence for the 1982 Dujail massacre. In what can only be described as a goodbye letter. The former Iraqi dictator urges the Iraqis to unite. The letter was posted on the Baath’s website.

Former senator John Edwards made it official just hours ago. He is added again as a Democratic candidate for president. Edwards kicked off his 2008 bid for the White House from a New Orleans home being rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina. He says it represents the power people have to build a better America.

The godfather of Soul takes to the stage of Apollo Theater today where fans will bid him farewell. A horse-drawn carriage with James Brown’s golden casket was followed by thousands of fans walking through Harlem. Saturday he will be buried near the James Brown Arena in Augusta,Georgia. Brown passed away on Christmas morning in Atlanta at the age of 73.

And with that you are now up-to-date, for more on these stories and other news of the day, CNN is always your source online or on television.

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