- The Washington Times - Monday, December 9, 2002

WEST BANK
Arafat says occupation would delay election
RAMALLAH Palestinian Authority head Yasser Arafat said yesterday that a general election set for Jan. 20 would have to be delayed unless Israeli forces withdraw from all Palestinian-ruled cities and towns.
He said in an interview that Palestinians would need at least one month, possibly even three months, free of Israeli military occupation to allow for campaigning for the ballot.
Mr. Arafat issued a presidential decree in September calling for the first Palestinian general election since 1996.

NORWAY
Jimmy Carter arrives to receive peace prize
OSLO Former President Jimmy Carter, arriving in Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, said yesterday that there was no reason for a U.S. war against Iraq if Baghdad complies with U.N. weapons demands.
Mr. Carter, 78, will be honored in a ceremony tomorrow for his decades of peace efforts around the world, in particular his mediation of the 1978 Camp David peace accord between Israel and Egypt.

AUSTRIA
Hard-line nationalists elect a new leader
SALZBURG Nationalist leader Joerg Haider sat out a Freedom Party congress yesterday as his embattled conservative party elected a chairman.
Herbert Haupt, 55, is a close associate of Mr. Haider, the still-influential governor of the southwestern province of Carinthia.
Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, whose Austrian People's Party won elections on Nov. 24, is reluctant to invite the Freedom Party into a new coalition with Mr. Haider at its helm.

IRAN
Police arrest 30 after pro-reform rally
TEHRAN Iranian police were holding 30 persons yesterday after a roundup of scores of protesters who chanted slogans on Saturday against the Islamic republic's hard-line establishment.
The demonstration by about 8,000 people revealed a readiness by some ordinary Iranians to join students who have led large pro-reform protests in recent weeks.

GAZA STRIP
Israeli gunfire kills woman, wounds children
GAZA CITY Israeli troops killed a Palestinian woman yesterday and wounded three of her children as they walked through a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian hospital officials and witnesses said.
Palestinian witnesses said Nahla Aqel, 41, her teenage daughter and two young sons were walking to their home near the fence separating Gaza from Egypt when Israeli troops opened fire.
An Israeli military source said that soldiers in the area had opened fire on a group of armed Palestinians who were seen approaching a Jewish settlement.

SCOTLAND
Blaze damages Edinburgh's Old Town
EDINBURGH, Scotland A fire tore through Edinburgh's medieval Old Town, destroying 13 buildings, and firefighters working to control the blaze in the neighborhood's narrow cobblestone alleys said yesterday that it probably would take two more days to put it out completely.
The Old Town is the heart of Scotland's capital city and is listed as a World Heritage site.
None of the damaged buildings was on the heritage listing.
The blaze caused some damage in the Grassmarket, a former market place dating to the 15th century, which bustles with bars, cafes and restaurants. Though officials said that no historic buildings were damaged, several well-known properties were, including the Gilded Balloon a venue for comedies at the Edinburgh Festival.

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