Arafat’s grave exhumed
Forensic experts from Switzerland, France and Russia on Tuesday took 20 samples each from the remains of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat after his grave in the presidential headquarters in Ramallah was opened. The experts will take the samples to their respective countries to carry out tests to determine if Arafat, who died on Nov. 11, 2004, at a military hospital in France, was killed by polonium, a poisonous radioactive material. French hospital reports at the time said he died from a massive brain hemorrhage, but gave no details on what caused a related blood condition, giving rise to Palestinian suspicions he was killed by Israel. Israeli officials have labeled as ridiculous any allegations that they played a role in his death.
Attacks kill at least 30
Insurgents launched attacks against security forces and civilians in central and northern Iraq on Tuesday, killing at least 30 people and wounding dozens, officials said. Shiite mosques in Baghdad were main targets, along with a city claimed by squabbling ethnic groups in a disputed northern region.
Chernobyl work begins
Workers have raised the first section of a colossal arch-shaped structure that eventually will cover the exploded nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power station. Project officials on Tuesday hailed the raising as a significant step in a complex effort to clean up the consequences of the 1986 explosion, the world’s worst nuclear accident. Upon completion, the shelter will be moved on tracks over the building containing the destroyed reactor, allowing work to begin on dismantling the reactor and disposing of radioactive waste.
The Palestinians predicted a historic U.N. vote recognizing their statehood this week, praising important new support from France on Tuesday and likely backing from other European nations seen as critical to enhancing their international standing. The U.S. and Israel strongly oppose the resolution.
Compiled from wire reports.