- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 25, 2001

Saddam says war will end in disaster
BAGHDAD President Saddam Hussein said in a Christmas message yesterday that the U.S. war on terrorism would lead the world to "catastrophe."
"America is leading a military campaign, under the cover of fighting terrorism, against freedom-fighting movements and nations which reject the principle of hegemony," he said in a statement distributed to reporters.
"What is happening in Afghanistan will lead the world to catastrophe," he continued. "It is time for us to be united and alert to foil the plots of our enemies and safeguard our sovereignty and unity."

Cypriot leaders plan to meet
NICOSIA, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides will have Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to dinner on Saturday to reciprocate for their historic first meal earlier this month, Mr. Clerides said yesterday.
The sparring leaders are due to start intensive talks in mid-January to try to resolve the decades-old division of Cyprus, a front-runner for European Union membership in the bloc's next enlargement.
The Dec. 29 social dinner event will reciprocate for a meal Mr. Denktash hosted on Dec. 6, when Mr. Clerides made an unprecedented visit to northern Cyprus.
The island has been partitioned since Turkish forces invaded its north in 1974.

Blood clot feared in airline death
SINGAPORE The Straits Times newspaper said yesterday that deep vein thrombosis, in which blood clots form in the legs, may have caused the death of a 28-year-old British woman who died during a flight from Singapore to London last week.
Singapore Airlines said the woman, identified by the Straits Times as Alayne Wake, collapsed and died Dec. 20 shortly before flight SQ322 was due to arrive at London's Heathrow Airport. A doctor, nurse and paramedic who were passengers on the flight were unable to save the woman.
Airline officials said they were waiting for the report from a coroner in London.

U.N. budget grows after eight-year freeze
NEW YORK The U.N. General Assembly approved an increase of nearly 4 percent yesterday in the U.N. budget for the next two years, clearing the way for a modest expansion of peacekeeping staff sought by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
The budget, approved by unanimous consent of the 189-nation General Assembly, allows spending of $2.625 billion for the world body's regular operations during 2002 and 2003. That is an increase of $92 million over the current two-year budget of $2.533 billion.
U.N. officials said the increase was the first in eight years apart from adjustments for inflation.

Poll shows Zambia poised for nail-biter
LUSAKA, Zambia Businessman and presidential candidate Anderson Mazoka held a slim lead over his rivals ahead of Thursday's elections, an opinion poll showed yesterday.
The poll, by a University of Zambia research group, showed 21 percent of those surveyed backed Mr. Mazoka, who won a key endorsement from founding President Kenneth Kaunda last week.
Levy Mwanawasa of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy polled 17 percent and former Vice President Christon Tembo 14.8 percent.
The poll confirmed analysts' views that the Dec. 27 presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections will be the closest fought since Zambia gained independence from Britain in 1964.

Arab League leader holds talks in Beirut
BEIRUT Arab League chief Amr Moussa met Lebanese officials yesterday to discuss the past 15 months of bloodshed between Palestinians and Israelis.
"We discussed the dangerous situation that the region and the Arab world are experiencing," Mr. Moussa said after meeting Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri and foreign ministry officials

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