Back pain forces Khatami to cancel talks on election crisis
IRANIAN President Mohammad Khatami was admitted to hospital yestereday with severe back pain, forcing the postponement of an emergency cabinet meeting that was to have discussed the crisis over parliamentary elections, said a senior official in his office.
Earlier, Khatami indicated to reporters his government could not proceed with the February 20 polls under the conditions that the hard-line guardian council had imposed. "My government will only hold competitive and free elections; the parliament must represent the views of the majority and include all (political) tendencies," he was quoted as saying.
Engineer in court over bomb joke A GERMAN engineer was remanded in British custody yesterday after allegedly joking with security staff at Manchester Airport that he was carrying bombs and knives in his luggage.
Axel Wilhelm, 45, appeared before Trafford magistrates yesterday morning charged with communicating false information about a bomb hoax. He did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody until tomorrow. Wilhelm, of Munich, works for engineering giant Siemens and is a regular visitor to its Manchester plant.
Rail crash driver's appeal fails rail crash driver Gary Hart yesterday failed in his latest bid to appeal against his conviction and sentence. The Criminal Cases Review Commission in Britain has refused to refer his case back to the Court of Appeal. Hart, 39, was jailed for five years at Leeds Crown Court in December 2001 for causing the death by dangerous driving of 10 men in the train disaster, after falling asleep at the wheel of his Land Rover. It emerged last week that the self-employed builder from Strubby, Lincolnshire, had also applied for parole.
DNA test for Bush's brother A JUDGE ordered DNA testing to determine whether President George W Bush's brother Neil fathered a child with another woman while he was married.
Neil Bush's ex-wife, Sharon, requested the tests to defend herself against a defamation lawsuit filed by the other woman's ex-husband. Sharon Bush testified during the couple's contentious divorce that she heard rumors that her husband had an affair with Maria Andrews and is the father of her three-year-old son.
Vitamin 'cure' for smoking ANTI-SMOKING advocates handed out vitamins in Belgrade's main shopping promenade yesterday, hoping to encourage people to substitute their cigarettes for a healthier lifestyle.
The Serbian government campaign is unusual in this Balkan republic of 7.5 million, where smoking is tolerated virtually everywhere - including schools. In Belgrade alone, more than 20 million cigarettes are smoked daily. The campaign is also urging politicians to refrain from smoking during government sessions.