China: Moon mission planned

China plans to place an astronaut on the moon’s surface by 2024, a top Chinese scientist was quoted as saying in a Hong Kong newspaper Monday. Named “Chang’e” after a mythical Chinese moon-inhabiting fairy, the lunar program will get under way with the launch next spring of a 2-ton moon orbiting satellite, lunar program vice director Long Lehao said.

U.N.: Rights council makes debut

The United Nations inaugurated its new Human Rights Council on Monday. The 47-member council replaces the Human Rights Commission, which became discredited in recent years as rights-abusing countries conspired to escape condemnation. The United States has been skeptical of the council but has promised to work for its success even if it didn’t run for a seat.

Meeting with Somalian militants

The U.N. will make its first formal contact with the Islamic militants that captured most of Somalia with the arrival this week of a security team to meet with the leaders of the little-known group, Francois Lonseny Fall, the U.N. special representative for Somalia, said Monday.

Israel: Palestinian workers paid

Thousands of Palestinian workers left postal banks carrying crisp $100 bills Monday, their first payday since March, as the Hamas-led government dipped into suitcases full of cash its officials carried into Gaza Strip. Thousands of Palestinian government workers also received food packets from the United Nations. The West demands that Hamas recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept previous peace accords, but Hamas refuses. As a result, the West has cut off much-needed aid to the Palestinian government.

From Herald news services

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