Palestinians outraged over settlement plan
JERUSALEM | Israel’s approval of more than 1,300 new homes in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday sparked a furious reaction from Palestinians, who accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of sabotaging peace talks.
The plans were announced as Mr. Netanyahu was in the United States to discuss a revival of peace talks with the Americans.
Direct peace talks, which began in early September, quickly ran aground when an Israeli moratorium on West Bank settlement construction expired six weeks ago, prompting the Palestinians to freeze ties until Israel reimposes the ban.
Chirac to face corruption trial
PARIS | Former French President Jacques Chirac has been ordered to stand trial in a second party-financing case dating back to his 1977-1995 tenure as Paris mayor, judicial officials said Monday.
Mr. Chirac, 77, already is scheduled to stand trial in March in one long-standing corruption case.
An investigating judge in the Paris suburb of Nanterre has ordered him to be tried for “illegal conflict of interest” in a similar case, the officials said.
Arctic mosque plans stalled over funding
OSLO | A plan to build the world’s northernmost mosque has been halted after Norway refused to accept funding from an Arab donor, with the government Monday citing a lack of religious freedom in his Saudi homeland.
“It would be paradoxical and unnatural to approve financing coming from a country where religious freedom does not exist,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Ragnhild Imerslund.
The mosque in Tromsoe, a city in the Arctic Circle, is being funded in part by a donation from Saudi businessman Hamad al-Gamas, who has pledged 20 million kronor to the project, according to reports in Norwegian media.