World week in review


Published: Sunday, December 1, 2002 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 30, 2002 at 10:44 p.m.
Israelis attacked on vacation in Kenya
  • In a carefully timed pair of attacks in Mobasa, Kenya, an Israeli airliner was fired upon and an Israeli-owned hotel where many Israelis were vacationing was blown up by three suicide car-bombers.
    The hotel bombing took the lives of the bombers and at least 13 others - 10 Kenyans and 3 Israelis. But two shoulder-fired missiles, apparently fired at the crowded Israeli passenger jet, missed their target as it took off from Mobassa, and the plane proceeded safely to Israel.
    The attacks added a new dimension to a familiar pattern of violence closer to home for most Israelis. On Tuesday night, a house in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank exploded, killing two men suspected of being ranking Palestinian militants. Palestinian witnesses said they believed the house had been attacked by missile fire from the air, but military officials denied that, leaving open the possibility that a bomb had mistakenly been ignited in the house. On Friday, as members of Israel's governing Likud Party voted in a primary, suicide terrorists tied to Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction fired on Israelis going to the polls and killed at least six of them in Beit Shean in the northern Jordan Valley.
    U.N. inspectors begin work in Iraq
  • U.N. weapons inspectors returned to Iraq for the first time since 1998, beginning a process that could determine whether the United States uses force to oust Saddam Hussein. Inspectors found nothing suspicious in their first searches, which included visits to a vaccine laboratory at Al Dawrah and a suspected uranium-enriching plant at al-Nasr. The searches were considered warm-ups to next Sunday, when Iraq must declare all its weapons programs.
    Iran clamps down on democracy supporters
  • In response to a series of crackdowns, Iran's pro-democracy students declared that they would hold a referendum at universities in Tehran to measure the legitimacy of the government. While the issue that set off the student protests, a death sentence issued for a reformist scholar, remained unresolved, the students were forced to cancel their demonstrations, and four pro-democracy leaders were told to appear before a revolutionary court over the weekend for their roles in the protests.
    Germany to provide equipment to Israel
  • Germany agreed to supply Israel with tanks and Patriot anti-missiles. The decision was seen as a gesture intended to soften Germany's refusal to play any direct role in the U.S.-led campaign against Iraq.
    But the message was scrambled after Germany said it had misread Israel's request about which model of armored vehicle it wanted. Instead of a vehicle that detects chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and thus could defend against Iraqi missiles, Israel wanted an armored personnel carrier that could be used against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. That would probably violate German laws prohibiting the sale of weapons to countries enmeshed in conflicts.
    Canadian official resigns over comment
  • Francoise Ducros, the Canadian prime minister's communications director, was forced to resign several days after a reporter overheard her telling another journalist during the recent NATO conference in Prague that President Bush was "a moron." At first Prime Minister Jean Chretien defended Ducros, saying she called a lot of people morons and it didn't mean a thing. He added that Bush was a friend - "he's not a moron at all."
    But his defense of Ducros did not persuade many people, and so he finally let her go.
    Miss World moves amid Nigerian violence
  • The Miss World beauty pageant moved to London from Nigeria after a newspaper article inspired bloody clashes between Christians and Muslims that killed more than 200 people in the northern city of Kaduna. The article by Isioma Daniel inflamed passions over the contest by suggesting that the Muslim prophet Muhammad might have taken one of the 90 Miss World contestants as a bride.
    Despite apologies by the newspaper, the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara issued a religious edict urging Muslims to kill Daniel.
    The contest was scheduled for Saturday at Alexandra Palace, a Victorian recreation and leisure center in north London.
    Far-right party loses support in Austria
  • Austria's center-right People's Party won a decisive plurality in national elections, while Joerg Haider's far-right Freedom Party won just 10.2 percent of the vote, a nearly two-thirds decline in support since 1999. A day later, Haider, whose nationalist rhetoric often carries anti-Semitic overtones, offered to resign as governor of Carinthia. But the next day, as he has done often in the past, he retracted his resignation, further damaging his party's fading credibility.
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