Mon, 07 Mar 2005

From: Jawawa

A group of exiled Iraqi Christians in the United States have launched an online petition nominating Iraq's top Shiite Muslim cleric for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize, drawing more than 6,000 signatures from around the world. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani "gave Muslims all around the globe a good example how to follow peaceful ways to resolve complex social (and) political challenges that face them, condemning terror and emphasizing ... rule of law," the petition said. Al-Sistani, 75, is Iraq's most- revered Shiite cleric and also a symbol of Shiite political power. He has spoken out repeatedly since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, opposing anti-American violence and calling for an end to conflict, including a bloody summer uprising by rebel Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. -- AP

Blair 'up for' third term

British Prime Minister Tony Blair admitted he was "an issue" in his party's election campaign but stressed he was ready to lead Labour into a third term, in an interview published on Sunday. Blair described life in government to The Observer as a "constant barrage of attack", and said that despite being a target for criticism he was still the best person to lead Britain. "I am an issue, I always will be," he said. "Whoever is the prime minister will be. You have got to have the strength to go out and show not just what we have been able as a team to achieve in the last eight years, but what you can do for the future." -- AFP