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French photographers want Diana book edited

Seven French photographers and a motorcyclist under investigation in Princess Diana's death in a car crash asked on Monday for passages to be cut from a book entitled They Killed Her.

The eight men asked a court in Paris to take action against the book about Diana's Aug. 31 death because it prejudiced the presumption of their innocence, judicial officials said.

The Paris prosecutor has argued against cutting the passages from the book by author Madeleine Chapsal. A decision will be announced Friday, officials said.

The photographers and motorcyclist were put under official investigation soon after Diana's death on charges of possible manslaughter for not helping a person in distress.

They deny the charges and reject persistent allegations that they were the paparazzi who may have caused the fatal crash of her Mercedes by tailing it too closely.

The inquiry into Diana's death, which has been proceeding quietly since the initial burst of worldwide interest in the case, has focused lately on traces of paint found on the Mercedes.

Investigators have been working on the hypothesis that traces of white paint on the Mercedes could have come from hitting another car.

The source speculated the fast-moving Mercedes may have hit a glancing blow against a slow-moving car ahead of it as it entered the Pont de l'Alma city tunnel and then swung out of control as a result.

The official inquiry into the crash has followed many leads, including statements from witnesses, that a mystery car may have been swerving in front of Diana's Mercedes and caused driver Henri Paul to crash at high speed on a tunnel pillar.

Diana, Paul and her companion, Dodi Al Fayed were killed in the crash. A bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, survived.

Elsewhere . . .

TORONTO _ A judge refused Monday to order Ontario's 126,000 striking teachers back to work, saying provincial officials failed to prove the week-old walkout had seriously harmed the 2.1-million students. The teachers are protesting legislation that would give the government, rather than local school boards, more control over schools.

WELLINGTON _ New Zealand Transport Minister Jenny Shipley said today she has been confirmed as leader of the National Party to succeed Prime Minister Jim Bolger, who announced Monday he will quit by the end of the year. Shipley, who will be the nation's first female prime minister, marshalled support while Bolger was abroad on state business.

BANGKOK, Thailand _ After only 11 weeks in office, Thailand's Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said he will resign Thursday, after parliament passes emergency legislation to tackle the country's financial crisis.

YAOUNDE, Cameroon _ President Paul Biya was sworn in Monday for a seven-year term, promising to build the West African nation democratically but cautioning it would take time. Cameroon's three main opposition parties boycotted the ceremony.