Al-Sadr plans rival Iraqi administration

20 October 2003
Prominent Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announces that he wishes to start a rival governing council in Iraq.

Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in promoting democracy and human rights.

The government announces that it is to increase the minimum wage by 25 per cent from AD 8,000 ($105) a month to AD 10,000 ($131) a month. The increase will come into effect on 1 January 2004, four months before presidential elections.

The UN condemns Israel's latest incursion into the Gaza Strip on 9-12 October in which the Israeli Defence Force destroyed as many as 120 homes.

The UN Security Council starts examining a revised version of a US-drafted resolution outlining Iraq's future. The new draft sets a deadline of 15 December for Iraq's interim governing council, in co-operation with the CPA, to submit a timetable for the drafting of a new constitution and elections.

The UK says it will offer another £300 million ($497 million) to help rebuild Iraq, in addition to the £200 million ($331 million) that has already been earmarked for the reconstruction effort.

Saudi Arabia announces that the kingdom will hold its first-ever elections. Local councils will have one year to implement necessary changes to allow for the municipal elections.

Moscow announces that it is to delay the start-up of the Bushehr nuclear power plant by a year to 2005.

Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz announces that a number of Saudi citizens wanted in connection with terrorist activities have been handed over to the US.

The US vetoes an Arab-sponsored UN Security Council resolution condemning the planned extension of the 'security fence', which separates Israel from parts of the West Bank.

At least three people are killed and one seriously injured when a bomb detonates underneath a vehicle in a US convoy carrying officials in the Gaza Strip.

Iraqis start using new banknotes and have three months to replace the old Iraqi dinars and the 'Swiss Dinars' used in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.

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