Hamas will cease to recognize Mahmoud Abbas as Palestinian president after Jan. 8 and replace him with one of its own leaders, according to a resolution approved by the Islamic movement’s legislators Monday.
The resolution demands Abbas issue a decree by Wednesday to hold new presidential elections within three months, to coincide with what Hamas says is the end of his term.
Abbas aides said the resolution appeared aimed at stepping up pressure on the president, a political moderate, ahead of a new attempt by Egypt to mediate a power-sharing deal between the rival camps and is certain to deepen the split between Hamas and Fatah.
Abbas, leader of the Fatah movement, was elected president in January 2005. A year later, Hamas defeated Fatah by a landslide in parliamentary elections. Hamas has been in control of Gaza since its violent takeover of the territory in June 2007, leaving Abbas only in charge of the West Bank.
Man accused in bus slaying fit for trial
A man accused of beheading and cannibalizing a fellow bus passenger in Canada has been declared fit to stand trial, his lawyer said Monday.
A judge had ordered Vince Weiguang Li to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he was competent to stand trial for the July slaying.
His lawyers and the prosecution agreed not to release details of Li’s court-ordered psychiatric assessment because it could be prejudicial to his trial.
Li, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of 22-year-old Tim McLean, has not entered a plea.
“I agree that he is fit to stand trial, but the issue is whether he is criminally responsible for his actions,” said defense attorney Alan Libman.
The case is slated to return to court Nov. 6.
Atom smasher glitch likely found
A bad electrical connection likely caused the malfunction that sidelined the world’s largest atom smasher days after it was launched with great fanfare, a senior scientist said Monday.
A soldering job on one of the particle collider’s 10,000 connections was likely faulty, said Lyn Evans, project leader of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Nuclear Research Organization.
It will take at least two months for the repair, meaning the collider cannot be restarted until spring, after its mandatory winter shutdown.
Evans said he hasn’t been able to examine the damage because the collider is too cold to be opened.