- The Washington Times - Friday, September 15, 2006

IRAQ

Judge says Saddam was not a dictator

BAGHDAD — The chief judge in Saddam Hussein’s genocide trial told the former president yesterday that he was not a dictator, after rejecting prosecution demands to step down for purportedly favoring the defense.

“You are not a dictator. You were not a dictator. However, the people or the individuals and officials surrounding you created a dictator [out of you]. It was not you in particular. It happens all over the world,” Judge Abdullah al-Amiri, a Shi’ite Arab, told Saddam.

“Thank you,” Saddam responded, bowing his head in respect.

In violence yesterday, a suicide car bomber killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded 25 in Baghdad. The attack caused the fifth American casualty in Iraq since Wednesday.

CANADA

Montreal gunman ‘hated people’

MONTREAL — A lone gunman who went on a shooting spree at a Montreal college in which one woman died and 19 persons were injured, referred to himself as the “angel of death,” according to his online journal.

Police confirmed yesterday that the gunman, who died at the scene after a shootout with police during the Wednesday afternoon incident, was Kimveer Gill, a 25-year-old man of Indian origin from a Montreal suburb.

On a Web site devoted to Goth culture, Gill said his credo was: “Live fast, die young and leave a mutilated corpse.”

UNITED NATIONS

WHO to promote DDT in malaria fight

The World Health Organization is poised to promote broader use of the pesticide DDT in the battle against malaria.

Long banned in the United States because of environmental damage, DDT is used legally in a few impoverished countries to kill malaria-bearing mosquitoes. It no longer is sprayed outdoors but is used indoors — to coat the inside walls of mud huts or other dwellings where mosquitoes lurk. The aim is to protect sleeping families from bites at night.

Malaria sickens up to a half-billion people annually and kills more than 1 million, mostly young children and mostly in Africa. The WHO is strengthening its malaria-fighting campaign to more strongly push for indoor spraying with a number of insecticides — including DDT — as a safe, effective and cheap option for countries to choose, say officials familiar with the announcement, to be made today in Washington.

UNITED NATIONS

Korean leads race for secretary-general

NEW YORK — South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon and Indian U.N. official Shashi Tharoor received most endorsements in a Security Council straw poll for the next U.N. secretary-general, diplomats said yesterday.

In the second straw poll in the 15-member council, Mr. Ban received 14 votes of “encouragement.” Mr. Tharoor, a novelist and head of the U.N. Department of Public Information, followed with 10 favorable votes. Others in the top five were: Thai Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai, with nine votes; Jordan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, a new entry to the race, with six; and Jayantha Dhanapala of Sri Lanka, a former head of the U.N. disarmament department, who received three votes.

LEBANON

Amnesty hits Hezbollah crimes

LONDON — Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah committed war crimes in its conflict with Israel by targeting civilians with rockets packed with metal ball bearings, rights group Amnesty International said yesterday.

It said about a quarter of the nearly 4,000 rockets that Hezbollah launched into Israel during the 34-day war were fired directly into urban areas.

“The fact that Israel has also committed serious violations in no way justifies violations by Hezbollah,” Amnesty’s Secretary-General Irene Khan said. “Civilians must not be made to pay the price for unlawful conduct on either side.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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