- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 9, 2007

IRAN

Supreme leader appears healthy

TEHRAN — Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, looked thinner than usual and sounded as if he had a cold but seemed otherwise in good health when he appeared on television yesterday.

Video aired last month of Ayatollah Khamenei, 67, who has the final word on all matters in Iran, suggested he had lost weight and raised concerns about his health. The pictures provoked speculation on foreign Web sites, but there was nothing solid in Tehran to back up the Internet rumors.

Ayatollah Khamenei’s office and the government have issued no report on his health.

BRITAIN

Diana’s sons urge swift inquest

LONDON — The British inquest into Princess Diana’s death in a 1997 car crash in Paris resumed yesterday with a plea from her sons that conclusions be reached quickly.

“It is their desire that the inquest should not only be open, fair and transparent but that it should move swiftly to a conclusion,” according to a letter from Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, private secretary to the princes, which was read at the opening session.

Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, a retired senior judge and member of the House of Lords, presided at the preliminary hearings at the Royal Courts of Justice, which concentrated on procedural issues. She ruled that all sessions would be open to the public, and that the deaths of Diana and her friend Dodi Fayed would be examined together.

SOMALIA

Interim president re-enters capital

MOGADISHU — Somalia’s interim president entered the restive capital yesterday for the first time since being selected more than two years ago, joining his administration’s struggle to give the country a functioning government it has lacked since 1991.

President Abdullahi Yusuf took office in 2004 as head of a transitional administration formed with U.N. help in hopes of restoring order in a country riven by more than a decade of anarchy, but he had spent much of his time outside Somalia because of insecure conditions.

Mr. Yusuf arrived 10 days after Islamic fighters fled from Mogadishu at the approach of government troops.

Meanwhile, a U.S. gunship conducted a strike against al Qaeda suspects in southern Somalia, but it was not known whether the mission was successful, CBS News reported yesterday.

GERMANY

9/11 accomplice gets 15 years

HAMBURG — A Moroccan man convicted of aiding three of the four men who piloted hijacked aircraft on September 11, 2001, was sentenced yesterday to the maximum of 15 years in prison for his role in the terror plot.

Germany’s highest appeals court in November found that Mounir El Motassadeq had played a role in the deaths of the 246 passengers and crew of the four aircraft used in the attacks.

“Anyone who helped in this has earned stiff punishment,” presiding Judge Carsten Beckmann said after announcing the verdict. Defense attorneys said they would appeal.

JAPAN

U.S. nuclear submarine collides with tanker

TOKYO — A U.S. nuclear submarine and a Japanese tanker have collided in the Arabian Sea, but there were no injuries and no oil leaks, a spokesman for the Japanese shipping firm said today.

Navy Cmdr. Kevin Aandahl of the U.S. 5th Fleet based in Bahrain confirmed that “an incident took place between one of our subs and a Japanese merchant ship,” but he added that it would be awhile before he could make details public.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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