Children die in storms
Rainstorms lashed the rural city of Kuito, 300km southeast of Luanda, killing five children aged between four and 12, a news report said on Friday. The children were playing on Thursday when they were swept away by the rain-swollen torrent, Roman Catholic radio station Ecclesia reported from the city. Ecclesia broadcast interviews with witnesses who said two of the children drowned as they tried to save the other three. Storms last month killed at least 71 people across the Southwest African country. In Luanda the rain has left large areas under water, worsening a cholera epidemic that broke out a year ago.
■ Saudi Arabia
Saudi anti-terror forces have arrested 10 people suspected of raising and smuggling funds for "suspicious bodies," the official news agency said yesterday. The suspects "raised donations illegally and smuggled and transferred funds to suspicious bodies that use them to lure citizens and attract them into turbulent parts", the Saudi press agency quoted an interior ministry spokesman as saying. The agency added that the group rounded up on Friday in the Jeddah and Medina comprised nine Saudis and one foreign resident. It said they were arrested in the drive to combat terrorism and its funding, but gave no further details.
Ex-cop arrested in shooting
A former police officer was arrested Friday in connection with the shooting a wheelchair-bound lottery winner, authorities said. Anderson Silva Souza, who denied involvement, turned himself in with a lawyer and was being interrogated, police spokesman Renato Barone said. Souza was not immediately charged because the investigation was still under way, but Barone said that based on evidence he was suspected in the shooting of Renne Senna, a former subsistence farmer and butcher who won 52 million reals (US$24.4 million) in July 2005. Earlier this week, Senna's 29-year-old widow, Adriana Almeida, was arrested on suspicion of having ordered the murder of her 54-year-old husband.
Swimmer takes on Amazon
Slovenian swimmer Martin Strel on Friday completed the second day of what may be his most ambitious adventure yet: a 5,430km trip through the murky waters of the Amazon River that he expects will take him some 70 days. Strel, 52, who holds two Guinness distance and endurance records and has swam the length of Europe's Danube River and China's Yangtze, embarked Thursday on his swim "for peace" and to raise money for victims of Alzheimer's disease. Wearing a wet suit to keep warm, Strel set off from the Peruvian town of Atalaya, some 365km northeast of the capital of Lima.
■ United States
`Chewbacca' arrested in LA
A man dressed as Chewbacca from the Star Wars movies was arrested after police said the street performer head-butted a tour guide operator in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Frederick Evan Young, 44, of Los Angeles was booked Thursday for investigation of misdemeanor battery, police Lieutenant Paul Vernon said. Police said the 1.93m street performer was seen arguing Thursday afternoon with a tour guide who had expressed concern the wookie impersonator was "harassing and touching tourists" in violation of city law. Security guards escorted Young off theater property, but Chewbacca decided to strike back and head-butted the tour guide, Vernon said.