Sat, Mar 27, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ Turkey

Six die in earthquake

At least six people, including four children, were killed on Thursday night when a 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey, turning houses to rubble. At least 20 people were also injured in Erzurum province and were taken to the hospitals in the provincial capital, also named Erzurum. The quake collapsed houses in nine villages, the Turkish news agency Anadolu reported, citing officials in Erzurum, and the four children who died were buried when their home collapsed.

■ United States

Rice asks for meeting

White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice on Thursday sought a second private meeting with members of the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Members had complained about her refusal to testify in this week's public hearings. Rice met with commissioners privately in February. The White House released a letter from White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez to the chairman and co-chairman of the commission, asking that Rice be given another chance to speak. "In light of yesterday's hearing in which there were a number of mischaracterizations of Dr. Rice's statements and positions, Dr. Rice requests to meet again with the commission," Gonzalez wrote.

■ Spain

Police arrest bomb suspects

Spanish police on Thursday said they had arrested five people, including at least three North Africans, over the March 11 train bombings in Madrid. The latest arrests bring the total number of people in custody in connection with the 10 blasts which killed 190 people to 18. Spanish radio reports said the arrests, announced early Thursday evening, of a trio of North Africans followed a series of police searches in and around Madrid. Judicial officials close to the enquiry said that the three had appeared before duty judge Ismael Moreno, who had passed their dossier on to examining judge Juan Del Olmo.

■ Italy

Trash burying towns

The streets of Naples and other towns around Italy's third largest city are literally buried in trash, with thousands of tonnes of refuse piled up due to a lack of space at reprocessing centers. Angry residents of the town of Bagnoli on Thursday erected blockades in an effort to keep municipal authorities from reconverting local warehouses to temporary trash depots. In the town of Aversa, some 1,300 to 1,400 tonnes of trash cover the street. Schools and open-air markets have also been shut in several towns. Thirty mayors and local councillors have urged the health ministry to act to ease the situation, which is blamed on delays in the completion of two waste reprocessing centers.

■ United States

Simmons slaps taunter

Flamboyant fitness guru Richard Simmons may

soon be doing his exercise routines in a prison yard after being slapped with a misdemeanour assault charge for slapping a fellow traveler who poked fun at his exercise videos. Police said the curly-topped fitness trainer slapped the man in the face as they were both waiting in line at Phoenix International Airport. "[The man] apparently said `Hey everybody, it's Richard Simmons, let's drop our bags and rock to the 50s,'" Sergeant Lauri Williams said. "Mr. Simmons took offense and said he had to `bitch slap' him." According to the Web site AZCentral, the victim was a martial-arts wrestler weighing over 100kg.

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