Tue, Jan 16, 2007 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Sweden

Storm wreaks havoc

Falling trees killed at least three people as hurricane-strength winds whipped across the southwest on Sunday, leaving more than 260,000 households without power. Winds of up to 137kph also caused major disruptions in train and boat traffic across Scandinavia, and police in Norway and Sweden urged people to stay indoors to avoid what was described as the biggest storm in two years. Police said a nine-year-old boy was killed by a falling tree in Motala, about 250km southwest of Stockholm. A 60-year-old man in the city of Jonkoping and a 25-year-old man in Ullared, near the southwestern coast, also died when their vehicles were struck by trees.

■ Vatican

Pope speaks on immigration

Pope Benedict XVI, insisting immigration should be viewed as a resource and not just a problem, on Sunday urged immigrants to respect the social values of their new countries and said laws are needed to protect their dignity. "Let us recognize in particular the difficulties of migrant families as they are: the discomfort, the humiliation," the pontiff said in St Peter's Square.

■ United States
Seven killed in fire

Fire ravaged an apartment building, killing at least seven people, including a child, and authorities said that they feared the death count could grow. The fire broke out in the 64-unit, five-story building late on Saturday in Huntington, West Virginia. Firefighters discovered two bodies and a child on the building's top floor while fighting the blaze, and crews found four more bodies on Sunday morning on that floor, the fire chief said. The child died on the way to a hospital. The building housed city residents and Marshall University students, Fuller said.

■ United States

Seven killed in car skid

A minivan carrying 12 people skidded off an icy highway early on Sunday and slammed into an oncoming tractor-trailer, killing seven, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. The east-bound van slid through the center median and struck a westbound tractor-trailer on Interstate 40 before dawn. Five of the van's occupants were taken to a hospital, Philippi said. The identities of the victims were not immediately released. Philippi said all the van's occupants were residents of Mexico, and interpreters were being used to locate next of kin. A powerful winter storm had coated roads and highways with ice and sleet.

■ United States

Stationary bike record set

George Hood may have pedaled his way into the Guinness World Records book. The 49-year-old Aurora, Illinois, resident began riding a stationary bike at the Five Seasons Sports Club in Burr Ridge, Illinois, at 4am on Wednesday and surpassed the previous record of 82 hours by 8:28pm on Saturday. He stopped several minutes before midnight after completing his goal of 85 hours. "He's very grateful -- and very tired," said Matt Baron, a spokesman for Five Seasons. Baron said Hood was talking and thanking his supporters right up to the end, but was taken by paramedics to a hospital as a precaution after he got off the bike.

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