Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestinian Authority, has thanked leftist unions of the State Duma /the lower parliamentary house/--the Communist faction and the agro-industrial group--for their condemnation of the large-scale Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and their leadership. These Duma unions sent their message of gratitude this week. Yasser Arafat remarked that he had carefully and thankfully familiarised himself with an important statement regarding the Palestine-Israeli conflict. He stressed that his supporters were peaceful-minded and respected all peace commitments. We have taken a number of strict measures to cease fire and preserve stability. We also have declared a state of emergency on the territories of the Palestinian National Authority and banned all military attacks, Arafat noted. The all-embracing and fair peace we are seeking must be based on the land-for-peace principle and on resolutions 242, 338 and 425 of the UN Security Council and resolution 194 related to Palestinian refugees, the message runs.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land