Ruling party set to discuss road map
SANAA | Yemen’s ruling party is to meet to discuss a U.N.-proposed road map for embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh to hand over power to his deputy, a party official said Monday.
“The general committee of the General People’s Congress [GPC] will meet within the next few days to discuss the road map,” in line with a call from Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, the official told Agence France-Presse, requesting anonymity.
The U.N. road map was drawn up in two weeks of talks in July held by U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar in Yemen with the opposition and leading figures of the GPC, according to opposition sources and a Western diplomat.
They said the plan has four points, including a handover of power by Mr. Saleh to his deputy, Mr. Hadi, followed immediately by talks on a transitional period ranging from three to six months.
The interim period would see the formation of a reconciliation government, the restructuring of military bodies and preparations for and setting a date for a new presidential election.
Ex-leader Chirac can skip corruption trial
PARIS | A Paris judge has ruled that former French President Jacques Chirac will not be required to attend his long-awaited corruption trial after his lawyers said the 78-year-old is suffering memory lapses.
Judge Dominique Pauthe said Monday he took into account an appeal by Mr. Chirac’s defense team and said the trial will be allowed to go ahead without the ex-president in court.
France’s first trial involving a former head of state since World War II is to run through Sept. 23. It was suspended shortly after it began in March so a higher court could rule on an appeal by one of the co-defendants.
The trial involves two cases centering on the alleged creation of more than two dozen fake City Hall jobs used to fund Mr. Chirac’s conservative party while he was mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.
Pakistan detains top al Qaeda suspect