- The Washington Times - Monday, July 21, 2003


New Governing Council may rotate presidency

BAGHDAD — The new U.S.-backed Governing Council has yet to pick a leader but will probably rotate the presidency among all its 25 members, one of the parties represented in the body said yesterday.

The council had said when it first convened last weekend that one of its earliest tasks would be to pick a president. But it appears now that a compromise may be adopted under which every member gets a turn at being president.

“Almost all the council’s members prefer a rotating presidency in alphabetical order, where every member will serve a month or less than a month term,” said Ali Abdul Ameer, a member of the secular Wifaq Party, which is represented on the council.


Corsicans are suspected after bombs injure 16

NICE — French antiterrorist police were called in yesterday after a bomb attack on a tax and customs office in Nice injured 16 persons and caused major damage to shops and houses, judicial officials said.

No group claimed responsibility for the overnight attack, but suspicion fell on Corsican separatists who last week announced the end of a cease-fire in protest of government policy toward the Mediterranean island.

Authorities said two bombs exploded within minutes of each other, shattering windows for hundreds of yards around. Victims were taken to a hospital suffering from shock or cuts from flying glass, but their injuries were described as slight.


Revolutionary Guards get upgraded missiles

TEHRAN — Iran said yesterday its Revolutionary Guards had been armed with a new medium-range missile after successful tests, and analysts said the weapon could hit Israel or U.S. bases in the Middle East.

The deployment of the Shahab-3 missile was announced by state television, which showed Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attending a military parade where at least one Shahab-3 was on display.

Iran announced earlier this month it had successfully completed tests on the Shahab-3, which analysts say is based on the North Korean Nodong-1 missile but has been improved with Russian technology. Its range is about 800 miles.


12 American tourists die in airplane crash

NAIROBI — A twin-engine plane carrying 12 American tourists and two South African crew members en route to a game reserve crashed into Mount Kenya, apparently killing everyone on board, Kenyan officials said yesterday.

The South African-registered Fairchild Metro turboprop slammed into Point Lenana, the mountain’s third-highest peak, at sunset on Saturday as a cloudy sky was beginning to clear, said Bongo Woodley, senior warden of the Kenya Wildlife Service in the area.

The passengers were members of three American families, said President Mwai Kibaki’s spokesman, Isaiya Kabira. Mr. Woodley said rangers were preparing to trek to the crash site at 16,000 feet but that bad weather was complicating the effort.


High court suspends Rios Montt candidacy

GUATEMALA CITY — The Supreme Court has suspended ex-dictator Efrain Rios Montt’s registration to run for president in November after an opposition candidate appealed his bid, a judge said yesterday.

The decision means Mr. Rios Montt will be unable to run as the candidate of the ruling Guatemalan Republican Front unless the appeal is overturned.

Mr. Rios Montt was barred from running in 1990 and 1995 because the constitution bars former coup leaders from running for president. But a court ruling July 15 found that the 1985 constitution cannot be applied retroactively to Mr. Rios Montt’s 1982-83 rule.

Human rights groups say 17,000 political opponents were murdered during his reign.

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