- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 9, 2008

MALDIVES

Boy Scout foils attack on president

COLOMBO — Mohammed Jaisham Ibrahim, a quick-thinking Boy Scout, foiled an assassination attempt on the president of the Maldives yesterday, grabbing an attacker’s knife as the man leaped from a crowd and lunged at the leader, an official said.

President Maumoon Gayoom was unhurt, but his shirt was ripped as the attacker tried a second time to stab him before being overpowered by security guards, government spokesman Mohammed Shareef said.

“One brave boy saved the president’s life,” he said.

BRITAIN

Complaint rejectedover cross necklaces

LONDON — A British Airways worker has lost her case citing religious discrimination over wearing a cross to work, she said yesterday.

Nadia Eweida, 56, took BA to an employment tri-bunal claiming it effectively discriminated against Christians because they were not allowed to wear religious jewelry while Muslims were allowed to wear hijabs and Sikhs can wear bangles.

The airline, which changed its policy to allow crosses on chains over work clothes last year during controversy over the case, said its clothing policy did not discriminate against Christians.

PAKISTAN

Bhutto’s son asks for privacy

LONDON — Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of slain Benazir Bhutto, said yesterday that he planned to pursue his mother’s legacy but stressed that he wanted to finish his studies first and pleaded to be left in peace by the press.

Mr. Zardari, 19, suggested that he became chairman of Mrs. Bhutto’s opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) not out of choice, but out of duty, saying his education was his priority and that he was not ready to lead yet.

The Oxford University freshman, Mrs. Bhutto’s eldest child and only son, became heir to the country’s most powerful political dynasty after his mother was killed in a gun and bomb attack on Dec. 27 while campaigning for parliamentary elections.

IRAQ

U.S., Iraqi forces open joint operation

BAGHDAD — The U.S. military began a countrywide offensive yesterday against al Qaeda in Iraq’s efforts to regroup and intensify suicide strikes on civilians who have sided with American forces against the terror group.

But the latest U.S. blitz brings more than just firepower to the field — a determination to speed up work on basic services and other civic projects that commanders believe will win more converts to the American effort.

The No. 2 U.S. commander, Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, announced the new operation — named Phantom Phoenix — and said it would focus on bettering Iraqi lives as well as on attacks against al Qaeda.

BRITAIN

Dentist sentenced on terror charges

LONDON — A London dentist who planned to fight for the Taliban against British and U.S. forces was sentenced to prison yesterday, convicted of preparing to commit terrorist acts.

Sohail Qureshi, 30, was arrested in October 2006 at Heathrow Airport as he prepared to fly to Pakistan carrying around $17,800 in cash, medical supplies and night-vision gear.

Qureshi, who was born in Pakistan, was sentenced to 4 ½ years but is likely to be free within a year, after serving half that term and allowing for time he has already spent in custody. It was the first conviction under a 2006 antiterror law.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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