February 10, 2008 in Nation/World

World in brief: Fire breaks out at Camden market

The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

A fire burns at London’s famous Camden market late Saturday. There were no immediate reports of casualties. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

A major fire broke out late Saturday at London’s famous Camden market, ripping through one of the city’s top tourist draws and a nearby celebrity hangout, fire officials and witnesses said.

Flames from the blaze sent bright red cinders and huge plumes of smoke into the night sky. Fire officials said the blaze was brought under control more than three hours after it was reported. There were no casualties reported.

Police said it was too early to comment on the possible cause of the blaze.

The culturally vibrant Camden area has six open-air and indoor markets hawking everything from handmade soaps to secondhand clothing. Originally established as a craft market in 1974, it is now the center of London’s alternative fashion scene, and its clubs and bars are popular with musicians.

Chepkioyo, Kenya

Odinga demands president resign

Kenya’s opposition leader demanded Saturday that the president resign and new elections be held, dropping a conciliatory stance that had brought hope for a political settlement to end weeks of postelection violence.

Raila Odinga, who accuses President Mwai Kibaki of stealing the Dec. 27 election, spoke in his traditional power base in western Kenya before cheering supporters at the funeral of a slain opposition lawmaker.

Kibaki “must step down or there must be a re-election – in this I will not be compromised,” Odinga shouted in East Africa’s common language of Swahili.

It was a sharp turnaround from comments he made in English two days earlier in the capital, Nairobi. He indicated he would not insist on Kibaki’s resignation, saying “we are willing to give and take.”

Jerusalem

Census shows more Palestinians

The Palestinian population in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem has grown about 30 percent in the past decade to 3.76 million, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported Saturday.

The numbers could have some ramifications for peace talks, since higher population figures potentially bolster Palestinian territorial demands. The census results found an unexpectedly low number of Palestinians – 208,000 – in disputed east Jerusalem, whose fate is a key stumbling block in the conflict.

The east Jerusalem figure was immediately challenged by Hatem Abdel Kader, an adviser on Jerusalem affairs to Abbas’ government.

“We doubt these numbers,” Abdel Kader said, adding that he doubted the researchers visited all Jerusalem homes.


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