Iraqi official blames Libyan chief for Mosul violence

BAGHDAD

A son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is behind a group of foreign and Iraqi fighters responsible for this week’s devastating explosion in northern Iraq, a security chief for Sunni tribesmen who rose up against al-Qaida said Saturday.

At least 38 people were killed and 225 wounded last Wednesday when a huge blast destroyed about 50 buildings in a Mosul slum. The next day, a suicide bomber killed the provincial police chief and two other officers as they surveyed the blast site.

Col. Jubair Rashid Naief, who also is a police official in Anbar province, said those attacks were carried out by the Seifaddin Regiment, made up of about 150 foreign and Iraqi fighters who slipped into the country several months ago from Syria.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.

Obama says S.C. victory is turning point for Dems

Democrat Barack Obama said yesterday that his landslide win in South Carolina’s presidential primary marks a turn in party history, showing that a black candidate can appeal to voters of all colors and in all regions.

The Illinois senator was responding to comments by former President Clinton that some interpreted as an effort to diminish Obama’s win Saturday over Hillary Rodham Clinton. Bill Clinton noted that Jesse Jackson won the South Carolina primary in 1984 and 1988. Jackson never became the party’s presidential nominee.

Obama, speaking during a television interview, said “there’s no doubt” that Jackson set a precedent for blacks seeking the presidency. But he noted that was two decades ago.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah

President of Mormon church dies at 97

Gordon B. Hinckley, the longest-serving president of the Mormon church who presided over one of the greatest periods of expansion in its history, died yesterday, a church spokesman said. He was 97.

Hinckley, the 15th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died because of complications from age and was surrounded by his family.

Hinckley, a grandson of Mormon pioneers, was president for nearly 13 years. He took over as president and prophet on March 12, 1995. He oversaw one of the greatest periods of expansion in church history.

WASHINGTON

Treasury Secretary pushes for action on aid plan

President Bush’s chief negotiator on an economic aid deal said yesterday the Senate should quickly get behind a plan or risk drawing the resentment of a frustrated public.

The president and House leaders have agreed on a proposal to provide tax rebate checks to 117 million families and give businesses $50 billion in incentives to invest in new plants and equipment. The goal is to help head off a recession and boost consumer confidence.

“I don’t think the Senate is going to want to derail that deal,” Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said. “And I don’t think the American people are going to have much patience for anything that would slow down the process.”

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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