- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 1, 2007

IRAQ

Baghdad to host security meeting

BAGHDAD — Iraq has invited neighboring countries, including U.S. rivals Iran and Syria, to a meeting on security next month in Baghdad, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday, while two suicide bombings in a crowded outdoor market in a Shi’ite city south of Baghdad killed 45 persons.

Bombs and a mortar attack killed at least 17 others in both Shi’ite and Sunni areas of Baghdad.

A Foreign Ministry official said the regional security meeting was planned for March and would be the 10th held by Iraq’s neighbors but the first in the Iraqi capital.

NORWAY

Gore nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

OSLO — Two Norwegian parliamentarians have nominated former Vice President Al Gore for the Nobel Peace Prize for raising awareness of climate change.

Since leaving office in 2001, Mr. Gore has lectured extensively on the threat of global warming and last year starred in his own documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth” to argue for immediate action to deal with the problem. The film has won two Oscar nominations.

Conservative member of parliament Boerge Brende teamed up with Heidi Soerensen from the Socialist Left party to nominate Mr. Gore for the Nobel prize by the deadline yesterday. They also nominated Inuit campaigner Sheila Watt-Cloutier of Canada for her work to show how climate change is affecting the lives of the Arctic indigenous people.

GAZA STRIP

Fatah-Hamas clashes claim at least 6

GAZA CITY — Gunfights erupted across the Gaza Strip yesterday, killing at least six persons after Hamas militants hijacked a convoy delivering supplies to the rival Fatah-allied security forces, effectively destroying a short-lived truce.

The trouble started in the morning with some gunfire, but an incident in the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza set off clashes all over the impoverished seaside territory. Later, hundreds of Fatah gunmen stormed a Hamas stronghold, the Islamic University in Gaza City.

BRITAIN

Police get more time to quiz suspects

BIRMINGHAM — British police were yesterday given an extra week to question nine men arrested on suspicion of plotting to kidnap and kill a Muslim British soldier.

Although police have declined to give details, British press reported the aim was to hold the soldier, torture him and kill him, with video aired on the Internet as in the cases of hostages beheaded in Iraq. It would an unprecedented attack in the West.

The nine men were held in raids in Birmingham on Wednesday under anti-terrorism laws that allow them to be held for up to 28 days with a judge’s permission. A judge gave permission for all nine to be held for at least seven days.

ISRAEL

Olmert testifies before war panel

JERUSALEM — In seven hours of testimony and intense questioning, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday defended his much-criticized actions during the war in Lebanon before a commission whose findings could determine his political fate.

Mr. Olmert’s approval ratings have plunged since Israel’s inconclusive war against Hezbollah guerrillas last summer.

The prime minister was the last witness to appear before the Winograd Commission before it releases an interim report in the coming weeks.

AFGHANISTAN

Amnesty favored for civil war leaders

KABUL — Parliament has voted for an amnesty for leaders accused of war crimes during a quarter-century of fighting, arguing that it would help heal the deep divisions in Afghanistan.

The amnesty resolution, passed in the lower house Wednesday, covers the mujahideen leaders who led the resistance against the Soviet occupation of the 1980s and later turned their weapons on one another, plunging the country into civil war.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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