BY Wire Reports
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
1/08/13 at 2:53 AM
Ramallah, West Bank: Abbas avoids clash with Israel over state symbols
Palestinian officials said Monday they will not rush to issue new passports and ID cards with the emblem "State of Palestine" to avoid confrontation with Israel.
Last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decreed that in official documents "State of Palestine" must replace "Palestinian Authority," the name of his self-rule government.
The U.N. General Assembly recognized a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in late November, overriding Israeli objections.
Hassan Alawi, a deputy interior minister in the Palestinian Authority, said documents with the new emblem will be ready within two months. But he said all documents Palestinians need in their dealings with Israel, such as passports, ID cards and driver's licenses, will only be changed if there is a further decision by Abbas.
London: Antique Spitfire plane collapses on U.K. runway
An antique Spitfire aircraft owned by engine company Rolls Royce collapsed Monday after landing at East Midlands Airport. The pilot was unharmed.
The airport said the World War II-era plane's undercarriage failed as it touched down.
The Spitfire played a pivotal role in the Battle of Britain, when the single-seat fighter helped beat back waves of German bombers. More than 20,000 were built, although only a few dozen remain in working order today.
Rolls Royce bought this plane in 1996. It typically appears at airshows and corporate functions.
Accra, Ghana: Ghana inaugurates John Mahama as president
John Dramani Mahama became president of Ghana on Monday, sworn in as the opposition continues to dispute election results in one of West African's most stable democracies.
The New Patriotic Party has started a court challenge claiming Nana Akufo-Addo won the Dec. 7 poll.
Mahama, the former vice president who took the helm in July following the unexpected death of President John Atta Mills, was elected with 50.7 percent of the vote, with Akufo-Addo, his main challenger, getting 47.7 percent.
Ghana , a nation of 25 million on Africa's western seaboard, is one of the few established and stable democracies in the region. It has held six straight peaceful multiparty elections.
Hobart, Australia: Officials start search for missing in Australia fires
Officials searched Monday for bodies among the charred ruins of more than 100 homes and other buildings destroyed by wildfires in the Australian island state of Tasmania. About 100 residents remained unaccounted for.
Scores of fires raged across Australia's parched southeast, razing 50,000 acres of forests and farmland across southern Tasmania.
Lhokseumawe, : Indonesia Ban proposed on women straddling motorbikes
Authorities in Indonesia's Aceh province are pressing ahead with a proposed Islamic law that would ban female passengers from straddling motorbikes despite reported opposition from the central government.
Aceh introduced a version of Shariah, or Islamic law, in 2009, after it gained autonomy from the government in a 2005 peace deal.
On Monday, authorities in northern Aceh distributed a notice to government offices and villages informing residents of the proposed law, which would apply to adolescent girls and women.
Manama, Bahrain: Bahrain court affirms life sentences on opposition
Bahrain's highest court Monday upheld jail terms for 20 opposition figures - including eight sentenced to life - for alleged plots to overthrow the state.
Critics have denounced the verdicts as part of attempts to crush an Arab Spring-inspired uprising that began nearly two years ago.
Authorities in Bahrain - which is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet - accuse Iran of encouraging the Shiite-led protests as a way to undermine Bahrain's pro-Western Sunni leadership. and gain a key foothold on the doorstep of rival Saudi Arabia. Tehran denies it has any direct role.
Indian performers in traditional dress fly a kite at the International Kite Festival in Mumbai, India, on Monday. Kite-flyers from different countries participated in the day-long festival. RAFIQ MAQBOOL / Associated Press