- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 19, 2009


World’s oldest man dies at 113

LONDON | Henry Allingham, the world’s oldest man and World War I veteran who put his longevity down to “cigarettes, whiskey and wild, wild women,” died Saturday at age 113.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Gordon Brown led the tributes to Mr. Allingham, who symbolized the stoicism of the last generation of servicemen who saw the horrors of the Great War.

Mr. Allingham spent his 113th birthday June 6 at a party hosted by the Royal Navy. He became the world’s oldest man on June 17, Guinness World Records confirmed, when the previous holder, Tomoji Tanabe of Japan, died at age 113.

The world’s oldest man now is a 112-year-old American, Walter Breuning, who was born on Sept. 21, 1896. The world’s oldest woman is Gertrude Baines, a 115-year-old American.

Mr. Allingham had five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild.

Dorothy Allingham, his wife of 51 years, died in 1970, a decade after he had retired. In civilian life, he worked for carmaker Ford.


Good deeds mark first Mandela Day

JOHANNESBURG | Nelson Mandela’s fans celebrated the anti-apartheid icon’s 91st birthday Saturday by emulating him with good deeds, reading to the blind, distributing blankets to the homeless or refurbishing homes for AIDS orphans.

Mr. Mandela had called on people to spend time doing good works Saturday, the first Mandela Day, which his charity foundations hope will be an annual event.

South Africans collected clothing for poor children, painted schools, planted trees near Mandela’s boyhood home in eastern South Africa and renovated a building in downtown Johannesburg for people left homeless by a fire.

At a Mandela Day concert in New York on Saturday, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin and others were to perform for the benefit of Mandela’s AIDS foundation.


Coup leader holds presidential vote

NOUAKCHOTT | A former army general who seized power by overthrowing this Islamic republic’s first freely elected president last year is gunning for Mauritania’s presidency again - this time legitimately, through the ballot box.

Junta leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz resigned from the army in April so he could legally run for office.

The vote began Saturday after police in Nouakchott exchanged fire overnight with two purported members of an al Qaeda-linked terror cell that claimed responsibility for gunning down an American teacher here last month.

Hundreds of international observers are monitoring Saturday’s poll, and most expect it to be free and fair. If no candidate wins a 50 percent majority, a second round will be held Aug. 1.


Milan bans alcohol for teens under 16

ROME | For the first time in Italy’s wine-steeped history, a city government has banned alcohol for those under 16 in an effort to curb drinking problems among youths.

A measure approved in the northern city of Milan on Friday calls for fines of up to $700 for younger teens caught drinking and for those who give or sell them alcohol.

Italy has no minimum drinking age, only a rarely enforced ban on serving alcohol in public to those under 16.


Villagers attack peacekeepers

BEIRUT | Villagers threw stones at U.N. peacekeeping troops in southern Lebanon on Saturday, lightly injuring 14 soldiers, in an attempt to prevent an investigation near the site of a recent explosion, a spokeswoman said.

In one instance, a peacekeeping patrol had to fire warning shots in the air to clear its path, a spokeswoman said.

Saturday’s incident is believed to be the most serious confrontation between Shi’ite Muslims sympathetic to the militant Hezbollah group and the thousands of U.N. peacekeepers deployed in southern Lebanon after the 2006 war between the guerrillas and Israel.

The incident came after an explosion Tuesday in a southern village was blamed on a suspected Hezbollah weapons depot that apparently accidentally blew up.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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