Iraq prez wants troops to stay, as general urges more to deploy

Iraq's president, Jalal Talabani, worried about growing opposition in Congress to funding for the war, said yesterday he believes U.S. and British troops will need to stay in Iraq for one or two more years to help stem the bloodshed.

Talabani's statement comes as the Baghdad government is growing concerned about rapidly deteriorating support for the war in the United States and Britain.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, the U.S. commander in northern Iraq, said yesterday that he doesn't have enough troops for the mission in increasingly violent Diyala province and that Iraqi government officials are not moving fast enough to provide the "most powerful weapon" against insurgents - a government that works and supplies services for the people.

Fire on quaint Catalina Island beaten back by planes, copters

Water-dumping planes and helicopters yesterday helped beat back soaring flames that threatened the quaint town of Avalon on Catalina Island, Calif., giving firefighters a victory that allowed nearly 4,000 evacuated residents to start coming home to the narrow island 30 miles off Los Angeles.

A day earlier, flames bore down from the mountains, raining ash and chaos on the crescent harbor. Evacuated residents clambered onto ferries that passed Navy hovercrafts packed with fire trucks from the mainland.

Opie & Anthony apologize

for Condi, Queen sex remarks

XM Satellite Radio shock jocks Opie and Anthony apologized yesterday for airing a homeless man's crude comments that he'd like to have sex with Condoleezza Rice, Laura Bush and Queen Elizabeth. The remarks were made on their show Wednesday by a guest the duo call Homeless Charlie. As the name of each woman came up, the guest said he would like to have sex with her - using language not fit for print.

Opie and Anthony laughed as they imagined Rice's "horror" while describing a violent sexual encounter in which Rice is punched in the face. Washington-based XM condemned the remarks.

Video shows astronaut Nowak stalked her rival at airport

Former astronaut Lisa Nowak waited nearly an hour at the airport for the romantic rival she is accused of attacking, donning a trenchcoat as the woman looked for her bags, a video released yesterday shows.

The security footage from Orlando International Airport depicts Nowak arriving at 12:33 a.m. Feb. 5, then following 10 to 15 yards behind Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman as Shipman went to the baggage-claim area.

Mrs. South America charged with strangling husband

A Guyanese beauty queen and reigning Mrs. South America was charged yesterday with strangling her wealthy husband, who was found dead at the couple's estate in the capital, Georgetown. Carolan Lynch, who was crowned last October, was not required to enter a plea when she appeared before a judge.

Her husband, Farouk Razack, director of the largest currency- exchange business in Guyana, was found dead Monday in the couple's bedroom, police said in a statement. Police said Lynch, believed to be in her early 30s, told detectives she found her 44-year-old husband's body after returning home from driving her daughter to school and thought he had suffered a stroke. But investigators said an autopsy found abrasions on Razack's neck and determined he had been strangled.

Blair's likely successor takes aim at him, Iraq 'mistakes'

Bolstered by a long-awaited endorsement from Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Britain's prime minister-in-waiting, moved quickly yesterday to stake out distinctive new ground, acknowledging "mistakes" in Iraq and promising "a new leadership for this new time."

Announcing his candidacy for the leadership of the Labor Party and for prime minister, he expressed a desire for more open government, without celebrity and spin. He also said he expected the emphasis in Iraq to shift from military affairs to politics.

Only weeks after his death,

Don Ho's daughter dies

The late Do Ho's daughter, Dayna Ho-Henry, was found dead yesterday, her brother said.

The 51-year-old's death comes less than a week after the Waikiki Beach funeral for her father, who died April 14 of heart failure at age 76. Ho-Henry was one of the legendary singer's 10 children. The entertainer is best-known for his catchy signature tune "Tiny Bubbles." *

- Daily News wire services