Abul Qassim al-Khoei
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ The Grand Ayatollah Abul Qassim al-Khoei, spiritual leader of the world’s 200 million Shiite Muslims, died Saturday at home in Iraq. He was 95.
The ayatollah had lived near Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad. Najaf is the holiest city for the Shiites who rose up after the Gulf War against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who is from the Sunni Muslim minority.
The religious leader was in some ways considered more prominent than the late Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran, but he remained publicly apolitical and didn’t actively oppose Saddam during the 1980-88 war against Iran.
Khoei, the supreme Shiite religious authority since 1971, was detained by Saddam in March 1991 following the failed uprising and confined to his house.
Khoei was buried in Najaf at a mosque adjacent to the tomb of Imam Ali, son-in-law of the prophet Mohammed, whose assassination in 661 A.D. precipitated the splitting of Islam into Sunni and Shiite sects. Eitan Berglas
JERUSALEM (AP) - Eitan Berglas, chairman of one of Israel’s largest banks and a former economics adviser to Israeli governments, died Saturday at a hospital after a lengthy illness. He was 58.
The Israeli-born Berglas held a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago. He was named to the board of Bank Hapoalim in 1985. Berglas helped bail out key Israeli industries threatened by bankruptcy.
Berglas was also among advisers who drew up a price freeze plan that slashed an annual inflation rate of nearly 400 percent down to a two-digit figure within a year, beginning in 1985.
He was among the founders of the economics department at Tel Aviv University and was once the university’s dean of social sciences. John Kordic
QUEBEC (AP) - National Hockey League player John Kordic died late Saturday after police were called to break up a brawl at the suburban motel where he had been staying. He was 27.
Police in Ancienne-Lorette found Kordic intoxicated in one of the rooms, Quebec provincial police spokesman Camille Gagnon said. Kordic was taken by an ambulance to a hospital but died en route.
Syringes and steroids were found in Kordic’s motel room, police said.
Kordic played for the Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs and most recently for the Quebec Nordiques, who released him in mid-January. He had signed a minor-league contract with Edmonton in March.
He was known as an enforcer who spent much time in the penalty box. He battled alcohol problems throughout his career. Bill Russell
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Bill Russell, a jazz historian also known for recording early live jazz performances, died Sunday at a hospital. He was 87.
Russell completed a book on jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton several weeks ago, ending 30 years of work. It included interviews with Louis Armstrong and other jazz greats.
He was a composer, working in many styles, and a violinist at one time with the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra. But he was best known for his early recordings of live jazz on his American Music label, his encouragement of jazz musicians such as Bunk Johnson - a trumpet player who influenced Armstrong - and his collection of jazz history.
Russell recently completed work on a re-issue on compact disc of 20 hours of music he recorded between 1942 and 1953.
Russell was a fixture at Preservation Hall, a tiny club considered a last stronghold of unadulterated, traditional New Orleans jazz.