- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Film producer Ponti dies at age 94

ROME — Italian film producer Carlo Ponti, who discovered a teenage Sophia Loren, started her film career and later married her despite threats of bigamy charges and excommunication, has died in Geneva. He was 94.

Mr. Ponti died Tuesday night at a Geneva hospital, his family said yesterday. He had been hospitalized about 10 days earlier for pulmonary complications, it said.

He produced more than 100 films, including “Doctor Zhivago,” “The Firemen’s Ball,” and “The Special Day,” which were nominated for Oscars. Other major films included “Blow-Up,” “The Cassandra Crossing,” “Zabriskie Point” and “The Squeeze.”

But it was his affair with the ingenue Miss Loren that captivated the public, rather than his work with top filmmakers such as Dino de Laurentiis, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Ustinov, David Lean and Roman Polanski.


U.N. team arrives for nuke inspection

TEHRAN — Two inspectors from the U.N. nuclear agency arrived in Iran yesterday to inspect the country’s nuclear facilities, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Iran’s parliament urged the government in late December to re-examine its ties with the International Atomic Energy Agency after the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions against Tehran over its disputed nuclear program.

The two IAEA inspectors were conducting routine investigations of Iran’s nuclear facilities in the cities of Isfahan and Natanz, the report said. They were expected to stay about a week.


Bombs kill 6, days before summit

CEBU — Bombs exploded in three southern Philippine cities yesterday, killing at least six persons and wounding dozens just days before a summit of leaders from 16 Asian countries.

Western governments have warned of bomb attacks by Islamist militants during the Saturday to Monday summit in the central city of Cebu, and said the violence-prone Mindanao region in the south of the country was a likely target.

Philippine officials said there was no threat to the summit.


Al Qaeda suspect killed, official says

MOGADISHU — A senior al Qaeda suspect wanted for bombing of American embassies in East Africa was killed in a U.S. air strike, a Somali official said yesterday. U.S. government officials said they had no reason to think that the suspect, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, had been killed.

The report came as at least four separate strikes were reported around Ras Kamboni, on the Somali coast near the Kenyan border. Witnesses said an AC-130 gunship attacked a suspected al Qaeda training camp. U.S. officials said there have been no new U.S. air strikes on targets, contradicting a report from a Somali government source.


Pre- ‘Dirty War’ crimes probed

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina is digging deeper into its past political violence, as judges extend human rights investigations back to the early 1970s when death squads targeted leftists before the country’s notorious “Dirty War.”

Federal Judge Norberto Oyarbide reopened a long-dormant probe into the Argentine Anti-communist Alliance, arguing the statute of limitations did not apply because the group, known as the Triple A, had committed crimes against humanity.

Judge Oyarbide also ordered the arrest of two suspected members of the Triple A — which rights groups say killed or abducted up to 2,000 people before the 1976-1983 military dictatorship, when between 11,000 and 30,000 leftist dissidents were killed.


Diplomatic passport of Thaksin revoked

BANGKOK — The diplomatic passport of Thailand’s ousted prime minister has been revoked, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was abroad when he was deposed in a bloodless coup in September. He has not been allowed to return to his country by the military and the interim government that replaced him.

A government spokesman said that Mr. Thaksin and the Thai Embassy in London, where he has been living, have been told of the decision.

The spokesman did not give an explicit reason for the revocation, but some members of the government have accused Mr. Thaksin of using supporters inside Thailand to stir up unrest.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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