- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Kurds warn of war for Kirkuk

BAGHDAD — The leader of Iraq’s Kurdish region warned yesterday of a “real civil war” if the central government does not implement a constitutional clause on the future of Kirkuk, the oil-rich city claimed by the Kurds.

Control over the city and the surrounding oil wealth is in dispute. Kurds are trying to annex the region, but Iraq’s Arab majority and a Turkish minority living in Kirkuk oppose that move.

Massoud Barzani, in an interview with U.S.-funded al Hurra television, complained that the Baghdad government was delaying a promised referendum that could put Kirkuk under control of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.


Marijuana damage compared to tobacco’s

WELLINGTON — A single marijuana cigarette obstructs the flow of air as much as smoking up to five tobacco cigarettes, but long-term pot use does not increase the risk of developing emphysema, new research suggests.

The study by New Zealand’s Medical Research Institute found that longtime pot smokers can develop symptoms of asthma and bronchitis, along with obstruction of the large airways and excessive lung inflation. The paper was released yesterday ahead of its publication in the journal Thorax.

“The study shows that one cannabis joint causes a similar degree of lung damage as between 2.5 and five tobacco cigarettes,” said lead author Sarah Aldington.


Film director Antonioni dies

ROME — Michelangelo Antonioni, one of Italy’s most influential postwar film directors whose portrayals of modern angst and alienation won him a cult following, died Monday night. He was 94.

Mr. Antonioni’s career spanned six decades and he was honored with an Oscar for lifetime achievement in 1995. His works included the Oscar-nominated “Blow-Up,” “Zabriskie Point” and the internationally acclaimed “L’Avventura.”

Mr. Antonioni, who had been slowed by a stroke in recent years, passed away just hours after the death of fellow film directing legend Ingmar Bergman of Sweden, who died Monday at 89.

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