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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
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

Recruitment Genius: LGV Driver - Category C or C+E

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national Company that manu...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - OTE £30,000

£13000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Assistant

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Maintenance Assistant is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?