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Published Oct. 30, 2008


Iran's supreme leader said Wednesday that his country's hatred for the United States runs deep and that differences between the two nations go beyond a "few political issues." Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments on state-run television less than a week before the American presidential elections were seen as a signal that a thaw in U.S.-Iran relations was not expected no matter who wins the Nov. 4 race. Khamenei said the hatred is rooted in 50 years of U.S. intervention in Iran's domestic affairs and hostility toward Tehran. "The hatred of the Iranian nation is deep-seated. The reason is the various conspiracies by the U.S. government against the Iranian people and government in the past 50 years," Khamenei said. He was addressing a group of students in Tehran days before the 29th anniversary of the 1979 storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by militant students.


Canadian guilty in British bomb plot

A Canadian accused of plotting with a group of British Muslims to bomb buildings and natural gas lines in the United Kingdom was convicted Wednesday of financing and facilitating terrorism. Momim Khawaja was the first person charged under Canadian antiterrorism laws passed after the Sept. 11 attack on the United States. His case is considered the first major test of those laws. Khawaja was accused of collaborating with a group of Britons of Pakistani descent in a thwarted 2004 plan to attack London's Ministry of Sound nightclub, a shopping center and electrical and gas facilities in Britain.


Court says Sarkozy voodoo dolls okay

A Paris court has seen a funny side to hot-selling voodoo dolls of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, refusing his lawyer's request to order them pulled from sale. Sarkozy's attorney had argued that the president - like any French person - owns the right to his own image under the law. But publishing house K&B Editions, which markets the doll, said humor is part of freedom of expression. The court ruled Wednesday in the firm's favor. Sarkozy lawyer Thierry Herzog filed an appeal shortly after the verdict was handed down. "Nicolas Sarkozy: The Voodoo Manual" kit costs $16.54 and includes a handbook and 12 pins.


Algeria: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is giving himself the constitutional right to stay in power, announcing plans Wednesday to abolish term limits that would have prevented him from seeking a third term next spring. He said he wants to bring "stability, efficiency and continuity" to the oil- and gas-rich nation, which is rattled by an Islamic insurgency with ties to al-Qaida.

Serbia: Serb officials denounced Albania on Wednesday for refusing to investigate claims that Kosovo Albanians killed Serb prisoners for their organs during the 1998-99 Kosovo war. Albania's top prosecutor said Monday she would not help a visiting Serbian war crimes prosecutor who is investigating claims of organ-trafficking that surfaced in a book by the former chief U.N. war crimes prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte.

West Bank: A top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Abbas will attend power-sharing talks with Hamas in Egypt on Nov. 9. The parties are to talk about forming a joint government, rebuilding the security forces and setting a date for presidential and legislative elections.