Qureia to head emergency Cabinet
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat issued a special decree yesterday naming Ahmed Qureia as Palestinian prime minister and head of a seven-member emergency Cabinet, Mr. Qureia said.
The decision cut short lengthy consultations about the formation of the Palestinian Cabinet and set the stage for the Palestinian Parliament to vote on Wednesday on the Cabinet slate.
The lineup includes longtime Arafat ally Nasser Youssef as interior minister and retains U.S. favorite Salam Fayyad as finance minister.
Putin favorite leads in test of strength
ST. PETERSBURG — A protege of President Vladimir Putin’s appeared certain yesterday to claim the top job in the Kremlin leader’s hometown of St. Petersburg in what was seen as a test of Mr. Putin’s popularity ahead of December parliamentary elections.
But the election for governor was marked by an unusually low voter turnout in a city where political consciousness is relatively high, and could indicate a national trend of political disillusionment.
Preliminary figures gave Valentina Matviyenko more than 60 percent but the turnout was a very low 27.83 percent.
Pope, looking strong, names 3 new saints
VATICAN CITY — Days after some cardinals gave dire descriptions of his health, Pope John Paul II held up well during a long and lively ceremony yesterday to give the church three new saints.
The 83-year-old pontiff, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, declared three missionaries to be saints: Daniele Comboni, an Italian; Arnold Janssen, a German; and Josef Freinademetz, an Austrian.
The pope chanted several prayers in a loud, clear voice and greeted a long line of VIPs one by one.