Police kill naked woman
Two off-duty Florida law-enforcement officers fatally shot an armed, naked woman who confronted them at a social gathering on Saturday, authorities said. The shooting occurred at about 1:15pm on Saturday north of Tampa. The county sheriff’s office said in a news release that the men were approached by an “armed, naked and irrational female.” The news release does not identify the weapon, but it says “one or both of the law enforcement officers fired their weapons, striking the female.” She died at the scene. Lieutenant Cinda Moore, a spokeswoman for the Hernando sheriff’s office, said in an e-mail late on Saturday that she could not immediately identify the woman or disclose the weapon she was carrying. She said she also could not comment on what the woman specifically said or did or whether she was told to drop the weapon.
Cancer affected campaign
President Hugo Chavez, who was diagnosed with cancer last year and won re-election this month, on Saturday acknowledged that campaigning while in recovery cost him votes. Chavez said in a meeting shown on state television VTV that after radiation therapy, he had only done “10 percent” of what he would have normally done on the campaign trail, adding he would have done more if he had been “fully fit.” The 58-year-old populist socialist leader, in power since 1999, won 55.26 percent of the vote on Oct. 7, against 44.13 percent for challenger Henrique Capriles, a businessman and governor of Miranda State. “If I had been ... fully fit, I would have beaten the [opposition] candidate by at least 20 percent,” said Chavez, who was criticized by the opposition for keeping details of his illness close to the vest, and for seeking treatment in Cuba.
Engraving not destroyed
The government has denied that an 8,000-year-old rock engraving depicting the Sun as a divinity has been destroyed in the south of the country in an attack residents had blamed on ultra-orthodox Salafi Muslims. Communications Minister Mustafa el-Khalfi took journalists to the site of the pagan engraving in the Toukbal National Park to demonstrate that reports of its destruction were untrue. Ahmed Assid, a prominent activist for the indigenous Amazigh people and member of the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture (IRCAM), had said the petroglyph had been destroyed last week and that local activists had blamed Salafis. However, Assid said at the time he had yet to see pictures of the reported damage. Meryem Demnati, of the Amazigh Freedoms and Rights Watchdog, had also said the petroglyph had been destroyed.
Food shortages ‘chronic’: UN
The UN deputy humanitarian chief says food shortages are “a chronic problem” in southern Africa and more than 5.5 million people in eight countries need aid this year, a 40 percent increase compared with last year. Catherine Bragg, winding up a five-day southern Africa trip on Saturday, said worsening food shortages were the result of drought or floods and rising world food prices. In Zimbabwe, 1.6 million people are affected by food shortages and many rural families have begun selling village livestock, often kept as a symbol of status and well-being, to cope with the “dire situation,” Bragg said. A decade of seizures of commercial farms has disrupted food production in the nation, a former regional breadbasket. Food shortages are also particularly acute in Lesotho, Malawi and Swaziland, Bragg said.