Around the world

VESUVIUS: Scientists seeking to unlock the secrets of Mount Vesuvius will rattle one of the world's most famous - and potentially deadly - volcanoes next week with eight metric tons of high explosives. Through a series of controlled blasts, researchers hope to create a three-dimensional image of the inside of the slumbering giant, which towers over the Bay of Naples in southern Italy. "There is no, absolutely no danger to the population. There is not the slightest chance it could trigger an eruption," Naples University vulcanologist Giovanni Ianacone, one of the leaders of the project, said.SCUDS: Iraq has declared Jan. 18 a Science Day to celebrate its Scud missile attacks on arch-foe Israel in 1991, official newspapers said on Monday. Iraq's National Assembly issued the new law marking the annual celebration during a special session on Sunday.

LEBANON: Explosions sparked by an electrical fire ripped through a house used as an arms depot Monday in a Palestinian refugee camp, killing five people and wounding 15, police said. Most of the wounded were in critical condition. Police said the fatalities occurred when residents rushing to put the fire out got caught in the explosions. Seven other houses were also destroyed.

ROMANIA: Former tennis star Ilie Nastase lost his first match in politics to a trade union leader in runoff elections for mayor of Bucharest, official results showed Monday. Nastase, a candidate of the ruling Social Democracy Party, got 43 percent of the vote Sunday, while Victor Ciorbea of the Democratic Convention, Romania's main opposition alliance, won with nearly 57 percent.

PEACE PRIZE: Burma's state-run media claimed Monday that the CIA ordered the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. "All that was bestowed on her, including the Nobel Prize . . . given according to the wishes of the CIA . . . were wages for being used by the West Bloc," the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.

Across the nation

ARREST: The ex-wife of James Earl Ray, imprisoned assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., was arrested and her house condemned when authorities found 25 live animals and several dead ones inside it in Knoxville, Tenn. Officers were called to the home of Anna Sandhu Ray on Sunday to investigate a report of an injured person and found Ray with a large cut on her face. Ray, 49, refused medical treatment, became unruly and was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct, police said.

Other news

HEAVY MONSOON rains lashed India's eastern coast Monday after two cyclones roared through and killed at least 123 people in four days. . . . THOUSANDS of Japanese demonstrated Sunday at a firing range near Mount Fuji, protesting any move to expand U.S. military shooting practice there. . . . AT LEAST 80 people were killed and many more injured when floods caused by heavy rain hit the central Yemeni province of Shabwah over the weekend.