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In Brief | September 3, 2013

Iraq vows to investigate killing of exiles

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s prime minister ordered an investigation Monday into the slaying of half of the roughly 100 remaining residents at an Iranian dissident camp north of Baghdad, where a U.N. team got its first look at the aftermath of the large-scale bloodshed.

The promised probe will do little to appease backers of the more than 3,000 exiles left inside Iraq who believe they remain targets in a country whose government wants them gone.

Supporters of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq members living at Camp Ashraf insist that the Saddam Hussein-era facility came under attack Sunday from Iraqi forces. Iraqi officials have denied involvement, with some suggesting there was an internal dispute at the camp.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office said a special committee is being set up to investigate what happened at the camp, located about 60 miles northeast of the Iraqi capital.

In a statement, it said the Iraqi government is committed to ensuring the safety of people living within its borders.

But the terse remarks also made clear Baghdad’s impatience with resolving the MEK issue, stressing “the necessity of transferring the MEK members who are staying in Iraq illegally.”

CBS back on air in NYC, LA, Dallas after programming agreement with Time Warner ends blackout

NEW YORK — TV network CBS and cable provider Time Warner Cable have ended their monthlong dispute and resumed broadcast programming in millions of homes in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles.

The agreement ends a blackout of CBS and CBS-owned channels that included Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network and the Smithsonian channel. The contract disagreement started Aug. 2 and affected more than 3 million homes. Broadcasting resumed Monday evening on the East Coast.

The companies were in dispute over how much Time Warner Cable Inc. would pay for CBS Corp. programming. Terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed.

Groovy, man: Lava lamps mark 50th anniversary; still popular long past ’60s prime

LONDON — Call them ’60s relics or hippy home accessories, lava lamps have been casting their dim but groovy light on interiors for half a century, having hit British shelves 50 years ago today.

A British company began marketing their original creation as an “exotic conversation piece” in 1963. Since then, millions of models of the much-copied invention have been sold worldwide.

The design was created by British inventor Edward Craven-Walker, who was inspired by an odd-looking liquid-filled egg timer he saw in a pub in southwest Britain.

The former World War II pilot then spent years transforming the concept into a home lighting accessory, having recognized the potential for such an invention during anything-goes ’60s Britain.

“Everything was getting a little bit psychedelic,” said Christine Baehr, the second of Craven-Walker’s four wives. “There was Carnaby Street and The Beatles and things launching into space and he thought it was quite funky and might be something to launch into.”

By wire sources