World briefs 1/16/05

Sunday, January 16, 2005

U.S. ready to hand over relief work to Indonesia

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia -- Deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz flew across the devastated wasteland along the Sumatran coast Saturday. He voiced pride in the American aid operation but said Washington wants to hand over relief work to Indonesia and other affected nations as soon as possible. Jakarta has expressed unease over the number of foreign troops and wants them out by the end of March.

Iranian Nobel laureate refuses Court summons

TEHRAN, Iran -- Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi told Iran's hard-line Revolutionary Court on Saturday she won't obey a summons to appear, even if it means her arrest -- an open challenge to a powerful body that has convicted many pro-reform intellectuals. Ebadi is the first Iranian and Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The standoff has aroused the attention of U.S. authorities. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher has said "we will continue to follow closely the [Iranian] government's actions against Ms. Ebadi and others."

Abbas takes office in midst of full-blown crisis

RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Mahmoud Abbas extended his hand in peace to Israel as he was sworn in as the new Palestinian leader Saturday, but the Israeli army killed eight Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and 46 election officials resigned over alleged ballot irregularities, crushing optimism for an early resumption of the peace process. Despite the rough start, however, Abbas made a direct appeal to the Israeli people, telling them, "We are two peoples destined to live side by side."

Japan remembers Kobe earthquake victims

KOBE, Japan -- Masami Kosaka will never forget the date: Jan. 17, 1995, the day a powerful earthquake tore through her hometown of Kobe, killing thousands. Japan and many around the world will also look back at the quake on Monday, when Kobe marks the 10th anniversary of a tragedy that killed more than 6,400 people.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: