- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 18, 2010

NORWAY

Nobel panel might not hand out peace prize

OSLO | The Nobel Peace Prize may not be handed out this year because China is not likely to let anyone from imprisoned award winner Liu Xiaobo’s family attend the ceremony, a Nobel official said, calling China’s diplomatic pressure this year unprecedented.

Outraged by the award, Beijing reportedly has clamped down on Mr. Liu’s relatives and pressured other countries not to send representatives to the Dec. 10 award ceremony in Oslo.

Ambassadors from Russia, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Morocco and Iraq have declined invitations to the ceremony but haven’t specified the reasons, a Nobel Committee official told the Associated Press on Thursday.

NATO

Summit to home in on war exit strategy

LISBON | NATO is expected to set itself a 2014 target for handing over security to Afghans at a summit that starts here Friday, as the alliance’s appetite for the conflict dwindles after nine years of fighting, growing European war angst and renewed criticism by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The allies appear to agree that the target year is realistic, but that hardly means the war is ending. The U.S. in particular is wary of giving the impression that the original aim of invading Afghanistan in 2001 - to deny al Qaeda a base from which to launch more terrorist attacks on the West - will be achieved by then.

So NATO plans to pledge an enduring partnership with Afghanistan at the two-day gathering in Lisbon, while admitting past mistakes.

HAITI

Cholera protesters attack cars

PORT-AU-PRINCE | Anti-U.N. violence spread to Haiti’s capital Thursday as protesters blocked roads and attacked foreigners’ cars over suspicions that peacekeepers had introduced a cholera epidemic that has killed more than 1,100 people.

The unrest followed three days of similar violence in northern Haiti. The protests come a little more than a week before national elections, and the U.N. has characterized them as political. Some demonstrators threw rocks at an office of President Rene Preval’s Unity party and tore down campaign posters.

But the protests are fueled by suspicions, shared by some U.S. disease experts, that a contingent of Nepalese soldiers brought cholera with them to Haiti and spread the disease from their rural base into the Artibonite River system, where the initial outbreak was centered.

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