The Week Ahead: Rats to lose their heads in space

TALKS ON the nuts and bolts of Palestinian self-rule open on Wednesday when senior representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel get together in Cairo and in the Red Sea port of Taba to discuss Israels' withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho, and details of Palestinian autonomy.

The PLO Chairman, Yasser Arafat, has appointed Faisal al- Husseini to talk to the Israelis about the status of Jerusalem - a matter Israel will not discuss until broader peace talks are under way.

Giving the people a bigger say is an issue in Yemen, where parliament elects a new five-strong presidential council today. The decision to replace the team headed by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who steps down this month, comes as a surprise: it is part of a two- month struggle between the President and his socialist Vice-President, Ali Salem al-Baidh, over how to choose the next president.

Since Yemen's first direct parliamentary elections in April, there has been expectation that the next president would also be directly elected, and Mr Baidh wants the people to elect the council too.

The restoration and development of Angkor Wat, the 12th-century capital of the Cambodian Khmer civilisation, is the focus of a conference sponsored by France and Japan on Tuesday and Wednesday in Tokyo. Conservationist organisations from around the world will hammer out pledges of aid and projects to rescue the Bhuddist monument from centuries of erosion and decades of war. Apart from restoring the stone, irrigation work is needed to protect the area from flooding. The cost? Billions of dollars.

Air France ground-staff unions and two cabin-crew unions start a 24-hour strike tomorrow against plans to cut 4,000 jobs. And on Sunday, railworkers in Italy strike for improved working conditions.

A group of Scotland Yard detectives heads for Argentina on Thursday to investigate allegations that members of the 3rd Parachute Regiment killed seven prisoners during the Falklands war. They are expected to interview 40 former Argentine soldiers including the former chief of staff, General Martin Balza, and a cashiered colonel turned right-wing populist, Aldo Rico.

The space shuttle Columbia begins a two-week mission on Thursday to study the effects of weightlessness. As part of the experiment, five or six of 48 rats on board will be decapitated and dissected in orbit without anesthesia. Nasa is feeling twitchy about possible protests from animal rights campaigners.

Russia's President, Boris Yeltsin, is temporarily abandoning troubles at home for a trip to Japan from today until Wednesday. Also in pursuit of friendly relations to the east, Israel's Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, is in China from today until Thursday.

It is Nobel prize week: today the prize for medicine will be awarded in Stockholm; tomorrow the prize for economics; physics and chemistry on Wednesday; and on Friday in Oslo, the Nobel Peace Prize. Nelson Mandela and F W de Klerk are hot favourites.

In a symbolic move as stalled talks resume today between Britain and China over Hong Kong: new coins entering circulation in Hong Kong today will no longer bear the profile of the Queen.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker