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The imprisoned leader of the reformist coalition is allowed to leave jail for a few days


Their leader is in prison but they have won the general elections. A strange situation but one that the Iranian people will have to get used to. The reformist coalition, whose leader Abdula Nuri is serving a five year prison sentence for 'anii islamic propaganda', will probably gain a majority in the Iranian parliament and give important support to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the moderate Jatami. Although the final results will not be known until next month when the second round of elections will decide the remaining hundred or so seats, the conservatives have admitted their defeat and many of their most important figures have lost their places in the parliament. Even their leader, the ex president Rafsanjani. who was a strong candidate for the     presidency of the parliament, is not guaranteed a place in the new chamber. As well as the success of the reformist coalition a surprisingly high number of independent candidates have gained a place (so far 16) in the decision making body. These deputies' political inclinations will not be clear until the parliament starts to function in May but, when added to the five representatives of the other religions permitted in Iran (Judaism, Christianity and Mazdeism) they make up* nearly 10°/ti of the parliament. The peace and calm which has characterised the elections was broken by news that eight people had died in confrontations between demonstrators and police in two southern cities. The incidents started when a conservative candidate was reelectcd amid* rumours of fraud and vote-buying. The police responded by opening fire on the multitude and eight people were killed including an eight year old child. The authorities later decided to release the reformist leader Nuri in an obvious attempt to calm nerves and restore order. The jailed* iman was given a few days of freedom for 'good behaviour'. (I)  



   The Pope's journey to the promised land has been a pilgrimage full of potholes and is serving to show that understanding and tolerance between the different Christian communities is still just a distant dream. His long desired tour of the most important landmarks of early Christianity was dogged* with problems even before the aged leader set off. Irak refused to lei the Papal party into the country which meant that the first part of the trip, to Abraham's supposed birth place,
   had to be done 'virtually' via a multi media show in the Vatican. Since his arrival in the holy land several ceremonies have been boycotted by other Christian communities due to differences over creeds and rites and the Patriarch of Alexandria, leader of Egypt's Copts, chose not to meet the the Pope at the airport on his arrival. Presumably this was a simple tit for tat* as the Patriarch is believed to have commented that on his visit to Rome in 1973 the then Pope didn't come to greet him at the airport either. (F)


The 20th century has been the hottest since the middle ages

In the last 500 years (since 1500) the average temperature of the Earth* has increased by 1.1°C (degrees centigrade). Half of this increase has been in the last 100 years when the temperature has risen* by 0.6°C. The ecological consequences will be disastrous unless* urgent measures are adopted in the near future to limit the emissions of carbon dioxide- 1.1 °C doesn't seem a lot but in the life of a planet it is vital The increase is due* partly to higher radiation from the sun but that is

   only part of the story. The biggest factor (two thirds of the total increase) is due to atmospheric pollution*. Some of the visible effects on the environment will be a rise in the level of the oceans, climate changes and the appearance of tropical diseases* in previously colder regions. Perhaps the most surprising thing is that all this will start to happen before the start of the next century if we don't begin to limit carbon dioxide limit very soon. Will we leam in time? (I)
 An escape of radioactive vapour from a nuclear power plant that is located 72 kilometres north of New York provoked moments of alarm last month but in the end there were no important consequences.
The spokesperson* for the Department of Health stated that, "the quantity of radiation released was approximately a fifth of the normal amount of radiation in the atmosphere " In his opinion this was, "a very small amount." At the moment the cause of the accident is unknown. (E)
More than 100,000 cubic metres of water containing cyanide and other dangerous metals were accidentally dumped* into the river Danube last month. The accident occurred at a mine part owned by an Australian company in Rumania and has effected not only Rumania but also Hungary and other countries along the river. Thousands of fish have been killed and the jobs of hundreds of thousands of people for whom the river provides work are in danger. The E.C. has estimated the damages will eventually cost millions of dollars and seriously affect the ecosystem of the region. (I)  

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