January 3, 1996
Web posted at: 11:55 p.m. EST (0455 GMT)
LONDON (CNN) -- For the first time since World War II, all nations affiliated with the International Olympic Committee will participate in the Olympics. A 100 percent turnout was assured Wednesday when North Korea said it would send a contingent to the 1996 Games in Atlanta.
Of the 197 nations invited by the International Olympic Committee to compete in the Games -- the 100th anniversary of the event -- only North Korea had failed to respond.
But after weeks of diplomatic efforts by the IOC and former President Jimmy Carter, the North Koreans said they would take part after all. Also participating are Iran, Iraq and Libya.
North Korea boycotted the 1984 and 1988 Olympics but competed in the 1992 Barcelona Games.
The previous record turnout was 169 countries at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
LUANDA, Angola (CNN) -- Bristling under international criticism that they are stalling the peace process, the Angolan government and UNITA rebels Wednesday held the first in a series of meetings aimed at getting negotiations back on track.
UNITA -- the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola -- broke off the talks last week, charging that a new army offensive had killed 40 civilians.
The two sides agreed Wednesday to stop military action and set up a commission that will try to restart the talks. The commission held its first meeting later in the day, and planned daily meetings for the next week.
The agreement came after a United Nations-led group monitoring Angola's 1984 peace accord blasted both sides Tuesday for failing to resume the talks.
A peace deal is considered vital for ending two decades of civil war in this South-West African nation. More than 500,000 Angolans have died in the conflict.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bill Clinton on Wednesday extended U.S. economic sanctions against Libya, saying the country continued to sponsor international terrorism.
The sanctions were first clamped on Libya a decade ago by former President Ronald Reagan for its alleged involvement in terrorism, and would have lapsed had Clinton not acted.
The United States has a long list of complaints against Col. Moammar Gadhafi's government, including its refusal to surrender two Libyan nationals accused of blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
The attack killed all 259 people aboard the plane and 11 people on the ground.
ATHENS, Greece (CNN) -- Greece's ruling socialist party says it is ready to start the process of replacing the country's ailing prime minister.
Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou has been hospitalized since late November, when he was stricken with pneumonia.
The general secretary of the party's Central Committee said it would meet January 20 and "find a final solution to the political problem caused by the prime minister's illness."
It was unclear whether any group has a legal right to make a decision without Papandreou's agreement. Under the constitution, he can be replaced only if he dies or resigns.
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli authorities Wednesday condemned the arrest by Palestinian troops of a Palestinian human rights activist who holds Israeli citizenship, and has been critical of PLO leader Yasser Arafat.
Palestinian troops took Bassam Eid, an East Jerusalem resident, from his home late Tuesday and were holding him in Palestinian-ruled Ramallah in the West Bank, rights activists said.
Eid spoke out recently against the arrest of Palestinian editor Maher al-Alami, who refused to publish a story about Arafat on the front page of a newspaper. Alami was freed after being held for six days.
Members of Israel's ruling Labor Party appealed to Prime Minister Shimon Peres to demand that Arafat order Eid's release.
Earlier, Wednesday, Palestinians protested the arrest and called it a violation of human rights.
The first Palestinian self-rule elections are scheduled for January 20.
NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- A bomb in the Indian capital Wednesday killed at least six people and injured 20 more. The device exploded in the crowded Sadar Bazar business district in the center of the old city, setting off a fire.
A Muslim separatist group based in Kashmir claimed responsibility for the blast and said it had carried out the attack in response to "atrocities" committed by Indian security forces in the northern Himalayan state.
NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia (CNN) -- Rain, hail and high wind lashed southeastern Australia in one of the wettest-ever starts to a new year down under. (306K QuickTime movie) Wild weather swept up from the south and engulfed wide areas of the Australian state of New South Wales. At least two deaths are reported -- a mother and her four-year-son were crushed in their car by a falling branch.
In Sydney, sudden thunderstorms on Tuesday caused local flooding and car accidents and were blamed for a plane crash. A hundred millimeters (four inches) of rain fell on Australia's biggest city. In some areas, vehicles passing through high water created an "inland surf" effect, pushing water so that it looked like ocean waves.
KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- At least 24 people were killed and 58 were wounded as rebel rockets slammed into the Afghan capital overnight and Wednesday, government sources said.
The Taleban Islamic militia believed responsible for the attacks is besieging Kabul and seeks to topple President Burhanuddin Rabbani's government. Rabbani has offered to meet all opposition leaders, including the Taleban and northern warlord Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, for a possible settlement of the four-year-old civil conflict.
A government official accused Taleban of seeking to create tension and terror in Kabul and undermine the government peace overture.
LONDON (CNN) -- The annual January sale at Harrod's department store is drawing the usual large crowds.
French actor Gerard Depardieu inaugurated the event Wednesday. He rode up in a carriage and listened to the French national anthem played on bagpipes by kilt-wearing musicians before declaring the sale open. (689K QuickTime movie) Depardieu also donated a total of 100,000 pounds ($150,000 U.S.) to two charities, a London-based agency that helps young homeless and a Parisian charity for young drug addicts.
The first in line for the big opening -- two students who were there on a bet -- were rewarded for their nine-hour wait with a champagne breakfast provided by the department store. Harrods expects the sale to attract some 200,000 shoppers and bring in some 25 million pounds ($37.5 million U.S.) between now and Saturday.
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