Two buildings deemed fire hazards cleared in Paris

Saturday, September 3, 2005

PARIS -- Police evicted about 140 mainly African squatters, some sobbing or screaming, from two dilapidated buildings Friday as authorities began a sweep of dwellings deemed fire hazards following two deadly blazes. The evacuations, ordered by Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, followed two recent fires that killed dozens of African immigrants in the French capital and put the issue of substandard housing on the national agenda. Police opened an arson investigation Friday into one of the fires, which killed 17 people, 14 of them children, a week ago.

Ethiopian ruling party wins repeat polls

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Ethiopia's ruling party won all 31 seats being contested in repeat elections following fraud allegations, according to provisional results released Friday. Even before Friday's announcement, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front had claimed the right to form the next government following elections for the 547-seat parliament that were fraught with post-poll violence and fraud allegations. This gives the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front control of 59 percent of the 547-seat parliament, or 327 seats, enough to form the government.

At least 10 killed in China due to Typhoon Talim

SHANGHAI, China -- Torrential rains and flooding from Typhoon Talim killed at least 10 people and left 15 missing in eastern China, the government said Friday. The deaths occurred in Fujian province on China's southeastern coast, the official Xinhua News Agency said without giving any details. It said Talim caused $450 million in damage. In neighboring Zhejiang province, storm-damaged roads were hampering rescue efforts, said an official with the Flood Control and Drought Relief Office in the coastal city of Wenzhou. Talim was downgraded late Thursday to a tropical storm and weakened further on Friday as it passed further inland into Jiangxi province. By noon Friday, Talim was centered about 465 miles southwest of Shanghai and moving inland at about 12 miles per hour, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

Aruba judge orders release of two brothers

ORANJESTAD, Aruba -- A judge on Friday ordered the conditional release of two Surinamese brothers held in the disappearance of an Alabama teenager, their lawyers said. The two will be freed today along with another suspect. The judge ruled that Deepak, 18, and Satish Kalpoe, 21, could go free on condition that they not leave Aruba and remain available to police, said attorneys Ruud Oomen and David Kock. The court on Thursday had ordered Dutch teenager Joran van der Sloot to be released under the same conditions imposed on the Kalpoes, who are Surinamese nationals.

Taliban commander, U.S. soldier killed in clash

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- U.S. and Afghan forces killed a regional Taliban commander in a clash that also left an American soldier and an Afghan interpreter dead, the military said Friday as violence spiraled ahead of this month's landmark elections. The Taliban commander -- identified by Afghan officials as Thor Mullah Manan -- was killed with another rebel fighter in a firefight Thursday with coalition and Afghan forces in Daychopan district of southern Zabul province, the U.S. military said. The American was not identified.

-- From wire reports<>

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