World digest 12/03/03

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Saddam statues come down; 20 arrested in raid

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Workers began demolishing gigantic bronze busts of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad on Tuesday, while U.S. troops to the north arrested at least 20 insurgents in a raid. Iraqi police said a senior former member of Saddam's elite Republican Guard was among those captured in Hawija, 155 miles north of Baghdad. However, the U.S. troops failed to catch the target of the raid -- Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, considered a key planner of attacks against U.S. troops.

Pope puts meeting with Anglicans on hold

VATICAN CITY -- Two months after Pope John Paul II warned that the elevation of V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as bishop of New Hampshire could mean "serious difficulties" in efforts to unify Catholics and Anglicans, the Vatican announced Tuesday that a February meeting in Seattle to work on a common statement of faith "would have to be put on hold." It also said a new committee will be formed to "reflect jointly" on the implications of Robinson's Nov. 2 consecration.

Report details climate threat to ski resorts

TURIN, Italy -- Global warming is threatening the world's ski resorts, according to a United Nations study released Tuesday. Downhill skiing could disappear altogether at some resorts, while at others, a retreating snow line will cut off base villages from their ski runs as soon as 2030, warned the report by the U.N. Environment Program. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of some 2,000 scientists, estimated temperatures will rise from 2.5 degrees to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 unless dramatic action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Istanbul bomb suspects met with bin Laden aide

ANKARA, Turkey -- Two key suspects in last month's suicide bombings in Istanbul met with and took instructions from Osama bin Laden's right-hand man, newspapers reported Tuesday. Main suspects Habib Aktas and Azad Ekinci met with Ayman al-Zawahiri several times, Hurriyet newspaper reported, quoting the testimony from another suspect. The two Turks are suspected of planning the Nov. 15 suicide bombings of two synagogues and of the British Consulate and a British bank five days later. Police would not comment on the reports.

U.S. embassies warn of possible terror attacks

NAIROBI, Kenya -- U.S. embassies on Tuesday warned of possible terror attacks against two hotels in Kenya and a housing compound for Westerners in Saudi Arabia. Two banks were evacuated in the Kenyan capital because of a bomb threat. In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, terrorists had the Seder Village compound under "active surveillance," said the embassy spokeswoman in Saudi Arabia, Carol Kalin. In the Kenyan capital Nairobi, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement that the government had received an anonymous warning that detailed terrorist threats.

-- From wire reports

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