Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Abbas Efforts 'Have Brought New Hopes of Israel Peace'; World at a Glance

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Abbas Efforts 'Have Brought New Hopes of Israel Peace'; World at a Glance

Article excerpt

.EFFORTS by new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to unite disparate factions could bring a ceasefire in Israel, vice-premier Shimon Peres said today. He hoped a deal could be struck at a summit in Egypt on 8 February and praised efforts by Mr Abbas, pictured, in reaching out to the militant Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups. "This is a different situation," Mr Peres said. "I hope that a ceasefire will be declared, a halt to all violent acts." Mr Abbas had tried to prevent violence more than his predecessor Yasser Arafat had done, he added.

The summit, in Sharm el-Sheik, will be hosted by Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and attended by Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, Mr Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah.

Pope is recovering, says Vatican

. THE Pope is said to be stable and "recovering well" after being taken to hospital with breathing difficulties. His spokesman said there was no cause for alarm and the 84-year-old pontiff, who has had flu since the weekend, is expected to spend several more days in hospital. John Paul II, who is being treated in his own wing of the Gemelli Hospital in Rome, is suffering from an infection which inflamed his throat and caused his voicebox to go into spasms.

He was brought to the clinic on Tuesday night "as a precaution" and was treated on a respirator.

Italian health minister Girolamo Sirchia visited the Holy Father last night and afterwards told the assembled international media: "He's bouncing back. We're optimistic. The doctors are optimistic."

Picture of the day

. ROYAL Dragoon Guards and 1st Battalion Highlanders entertain bathers on Sydney's Bondi Beach before the Edinburgh Tattoo's Salute To Australia shows.

Meanwhile, police told people to avoid the centre of Melbourne as the heaviest storms in 150 years killed a teenage girl.

'Gas poisoning' kills Georgia PM

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