World digest 11/09/04

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Scientists: Arctic bearing brunt of climate changes

WASHINGTON -- Scientists say changes in the earth's climate are occurring particularly intensely in the Arctic region, evidenced by widespread melting of glaciers, thinning sea ice and rising permafrost temperatures. A study released Monday said the annual average amount of sea ice in the Arctic has decreased about 8 percent in the past 30 years, resulting in the loss of 386,100 square miles of sea ice -- an area bigger than Texas and Arizona combined. In the past 50 years, average yearly temperatures in Alaska and Siberia rose about 3.6 degrees to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and winters in Alaska and western Canada warmed an average of 5 degrees to 7 degrees Fahrenheit.

Iranian hard-liners criticize nuclear deal

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran said Monday a preliminary agreement reached between Iran and the European Union's three big powers may be finalized soon, but hard-liners criticized the deal and called on the government to ignore calls to keep suspending nuclear activities. The hard-line daily Jomhuri-e-Eslami denounced the accord on its front page and urged the government to ignore European demands. Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, said he hopes the agreement will lead to a suspension of Iran's nuclear enrichment activities.

Muslim school in Netherlands bombed

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- A bombing before dawn Monday blew the front door off a Muslim elementary school in a southern town and extensively damaged the building in what police suspect was a revenge attack for the killing of a Dutch filmmaker last week. No one was injured in the attack on the empty school, which came days after the arrest of a Muslim radical accused of killing filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh, a distant relative of Vincent van Gogh, released a film titled "Submission" in August that was critical of how women are treated under Islam.

New Jersey governor makes farewell address

TRENTON, N.J. -- Gov. James E. McGreevey delivered a farewell address Monday in which he said he does not apologize "for being a gay American but rather for having let personal feelings impact my decision-making." McGreevey is to step down Nov. 15. He resigned over a gay affair with a man identified as Golan Cipel -- hired by the governor in 2002 to head the state's Homeland Security department. Cipel has steadfastly denied any involvement with McGreevey and has alleged he was sexually harassed by the governor.

Ivory coast loyalists confront French forces

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast -- Thousands of government loyalists massed outside the home of Ivory Coast's president Monday, facing off against French armored vehicles in response to urgent appeals for a "human shield" around the hard-line leader, amid fears of an overthrow. French and Ivory Coast military leaders, appearing together on state television, appealed for calm following three days of violent protests the Red Cross said had wounded more than 500 people. Two hospitals reported five dead and 250 wounded in Monday's clashes alone. The Ivorian army said it would start joint patrols in Abidjan, the commercial capital, with French and U.N. peacekeepers.

Reagan shooter seeks more time out of hospital

WASHINGTON -- The attorney for the man who shot President Reagan 23 years ago argued Monday that John Hinckley is ready to live part-time away from the mental hospital where he has been confined since shortly after the failed assassination attempt in 1981. Hinckley, 49, sat silently in a federal courtroom as a judge began hearing from psychiatrists and others who disagree over whether Hinckley is entirely well and can be trusted to spend days at a time off the hospital grounds at his parents' home in Williamsburg, Va. The hearing is expected to last several days.

-- From wire reports

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