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News Briefs

Islamic Leader Killed in Algeria


A prominent leader of Algeria’s outlawed Islamic Salvation Front who opposed the government but had spoken out for peace and reconciliation was assassinated Monday as he was leaving a dental clinic in Algiers.

Abdelkader Hachani, who had been under police supervision for his anti-government politics, was shot twice in the head and once in the chest by an unknown assailant, according to news service reports from the Algerian capital and a statement on the state-run radio. He died in an Algiers hospital less than two hours later.

Hachani’s murder was a fresh blow to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s efforts to end the armed insurgency in which a radical Muslim underground has sought to overthrow Algeria’s army-backed, secular government for almost eight years. Bouteflika’s office condemned the “odious killing” of Hachani, believed to be in his early forties.

The killers were unknown and no group claimed responsibility. With his calls for an end to Algeria’s bloodletting, Hachani could have angered the extreme Islamic fringe that has vowed to carry on the violence despite a decision by the Islamic Salvation Front to heed Bouteflika’s call for reconciliation. But with his criticism of Bouteflika for not going far enough, he also could have angered hard-liners in the security forces.

Philbin Hints That ‘Millionaire’ Show Could Be Back in January


Are we looking at a January return for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Could be. On Monday’s “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee,” Regis Philbin slyly told viewers, “See you in January.” He made a similar -- and accurate -- prediction at the end of “Millionaire’s” August run, when he told viewers of his daytime show, “See you in November.”

An ABC spokesman said Monday that “we’re weighing all our options. It could be back as early as December. So much is being debated and there are repercussions to any decision.”

“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” concludes its November run Tuesday night. Meanwhile, the millionaire of “Millionaire,” John Carpenter, 31, of Hamden, Conn., who won the grand prize on Friday’s show, is having his 15 minutes of fame.

Monday, he was on “Good Morning America” with his wife, Debbie, and father, Tom, as well as appearing on “Live!” where Philbin handed him his big check.

“Don’t cheat on your income tax,” co-host Kathie Lee Gifford cautioned Carpenter, “because the whole world knows what you’ve won.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” replied Carpenter, who happens to be an Internal Revenue Service agent. Over the weekend, he appeared on “Saturday Night Live” in a skit portraying Donald Trump’s potential running mate, and delivered the show’s trademark opening, “Live from New York ... It’s Saturday Night!”

Famed Children’s Book Illustrator Eulalie M. Banks Dies at 104


Eulalie M. Banks, who illustrated more than 50 children’s books and wrote a few of her own in her native England and her adopted California, has died at the age of 104.

Banks, whose pen name was simply Eulalie, died Nov. 12 at the Beverly Health and Rehabilitation Center in Los Angeles, according to her nephew, Peter Turney of Burbank.

Known for her charming, fully dressed and humanized animals, Banks continued to draw and paint until she was 90, amassing an impressive number of books, cards, calendars and murals. At the age of 82, she illustrated the cover of a children’s book for the blind featuring Peter Rabbit and produced by the Los Angeles Braille Institute.

Banks also created murals in Southern California homes and offices as well as the children’s room of the now-razed Santa Monica Library, signing those as she did her books with a little mouse in blue velvet pants and an artist’s smock.

But when a child observing that library mural exclaimed, “Look, there’s Mickey Mouse,” the insulted artist wiped out her little four-footed signature.

130 Countries Plan to Meet in Warsaw to Further Democracy


Representatives of 130 democracies plan to meet in Warsaw, Poland, in June to create an organization limited to countries that elect governments and allow effective opposition movements, the United States and Poland announced Monday.

U.S. officials conceded there were some close calls in separating democratic regimes from autocratic ones. Haiti and Peru made the cut, despite some obvious anti-democratic tendencies. Pakistan’s military regime was ruled out by definition, although officials said the elected government that was ousted last month might have been left out, too, because of its restrictions on opposition politics.

State Department spokesman James P. Rubin said the conference will be the first in which participation is limited to democracies. He said the gathering will adopt a declaration spelling out just what it takes to qualify as a democracy.

A senior State Department official said the declaration may be used as a yardstick to measure the performance of countries that sign it, much as the human rights provisions of the 1975 Helsinki treaty were invoked against the Soviet Union and the Communist countries of Eastern Europe. Historians often credit the Helsinki pact with playing an important role in bringing down the Iron Curtain.