Top Aide to Saddam Hussein Dies in Hospital

Iraqi officials said Tariq Aziz, the debonair Iraqi diplomat who made his name by staunchly defending Saddam Hussein to the world during three wars and was later sentenced to death as part of the regime that killed hundreds of thousands of its own people, has died in a hospital in southern Iraq at the age of 79. According to provincial governor Yahya al-Nassiri, Aziz, who had been in custody in a prison in the south awaiting execution, died Friday afternoon after he was taken to the al-Hussein hospital in the city of Nasiriyah following a heart attack.