U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan is calling for the Sri Lanka government and Tamil Tiger rebels to put aside their political differences as the country starts to rebuild from last month's tsunami. Mr. Annan said today as he wrapped up a two-day visit to Sri Lanka that he has seen people of different religious and ethnicities helping each other after the December 26th disaster. The U.N. chief says political leaders can learn from such an example.
Germany wants to set up a system for early warning of tsunamis. A government spokesman told the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that the system would in its beginning stage cost about 53 million dollars, and can be built in one to three years. The spokesman said the new project would add 30 to 40 seimological stations in the Indian Ocean to a global network of 50 already existing research bodies.
Palestinians are electing a new president today to succeed the late Yasser Arafat. Voting has been going smoothly in the West Bank and Gaza, and no problems are reported. Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Mahmoud Abbas is a strong favorite to win the presidency. He says the election is going very well, and that this proves the Palestinian people are moving toward democracy.
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