- - Monday, November 8, 2010


Palestinians outraged over settlement plan

JERUSALEM | Israel’s approval of more than 1,300 new homes in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday sparked a furious reaction from Palestinians, who accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of sabotaging peace talks.

The plans were announced as Mr. Netanyahu was in the United States to discuss a revival of peace talks with the Americans.

Direct peace talks, which began in early September, quickly ran aground when an Israeli moratorium on West Bank settlement construction expired six weeks ago, prompting the Palestinians to freeze ties until Israel reimposes the ban.


Chirac to face corruption trial

PARIS | Former French President Jacques Chirac has been ordered to stand trial in a second party-financing case dating back to his 1977-1995 tenure as Paris mayor, judicial officials said Monday.

Mr. Chirac, 77, already is scheduled to stand trial in March in one long-standing corruption case.

An investigating judge in the Paris suburb of Nanterre has ordered him to be tried for “illegal conflict of interest” in a similar case, the officials said.


Arctic mosque plans stalled over funding

OSLO | A plan to build the world’s northernmost mosque has been halted after Norway refused to accept funding from an Arab donor, with the government Monday citing a lack of religious freedom in his Saudi homeland.

“It would be paradoxical and unnatural to approve financing coming from a country where religious freedom does not exist,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Ragnhild Imerslund.

The mosque in Tromsoe, a city in the Arctic Circle, is being funded in part by a donation from Saudi businessman Hamad al-Gamas, who has pledged 20 million kronor to the project, according to reports in Norwegian media.


Authorities storm camp, deadly clashes ensue

RABAT | Clashes between security forces and protesters in Western Sahara killed several people on Monday after Moroccan authorities stormed the site of the disputed territory’s biggest anti-government protest in decades.

Morocco said two of its police officers and a firefighter were killed by protesters, while the pro-independence Polisario Front said Moroccan security forces killed a 26-year-old activist during a raid on a protest camp in the desert.

The violence was some of the worst in years in Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony annexed by Morocco in 1975 and which ever since has been the subject of a bitter dispute between Rabat and independence campaigners.


Official: U.N. meeting to help peace talks

NICOSIA | A meeting at U.N. headquarters next week will try to achieve a breakthrough in flagging talks to reunify ethnically split Cyprus, the island’s president said Monday.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting the meeting Nov. 18 in New York with President Dimitris Christofias, a Greek Cypriot, and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

Mr. Christofias said the goal is to “break the possible deadlocks and to open the road toward a comprehensive solution.” He warned against any outside pressure to impose arbitration or deadlines in the open-ended process.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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