World briefs 1/19/04

Monday, January 19, 2004

Rescue efforts halted for plane crash in Lake Erie

WINDSOR, Ontario -- Hampered by snow and low clouds, U.S. and Canadian crews called off rescue efforts Sunday for 10 people believed killed when a small plane crashed into icy Lake Erie shortly after taking off from a Canadian island. The single-engine plane crashed in snowy weather late Saturday afternoon, and by Sunday was submerged in 24 feet of water about a mile west of Pelee Island, the Ontario Provincial Police said. The Georgian Express plane was bound for Windsor, about 35 miles to the northwest, when the pilot made a frantic call for help soon after taking off. Bad weather has kept rescuers from finding the victims.

'Friends' has too much sex for Chinese television

BEIJING -- The hit American sitcom "Friends" may prove too risque for Chinese television. "I had thought the show focused on friendship, but after a careful preview I found each episode had something to do with sex," Qin Mingxin of China Central Television's entertainment unit said in an article on the Web site of the Communist Party's People's Daily. All television in China is government-controlled, and CCTV had planned to begin airing "Friends" this year. Staff are trying to edit out the sex talk, but "we will face many problems in translation and abridgment," Qin said.

Delta plane stops in Ireland after bomb threat

DUBLIN, Ireland -- A Delta Airlines jet traveling from Germany to the United States made an emergency landing Sunday in Ireland because of a bomb threat. Frankfurt-to-Atlanta flight number 27 landed at Shannon airport in the west of Ireland after crew discovered a note suggesting there could be a bomb aboard the plane, said Siobhan Moore, spokeswoman for airport operating company Aer Rianta. Moore said the 147 passengers were taken off and would be questioned by police.

Pakistani officials arrest seven al-Qaida suspects

KARACHI, Pakistan -- Pakistani agents arrested seven al-Qaida suspects and confiscated weapons during an early Sunday raid in the southern city of Karachi, an intelligence officer said. Officers arrested five men and two women in the 3 a.m. raid at the Qasim Apartments complex, the intelligence officer said on condition of anonymity. Two of the men were Egyptians, three were Afghans and the two women were Arabs, he said without giving details about their alleged ranks in the terror network. Hand grenades, handguns, ammunition and maps of Afghanistan and Pakistan were seized, the intelligence officer said.

Voice recorder found from crashed Egyptian plane

CAIRO, Egypt -- A French remote-controlled submarine searching the depths of the Red Sea retrieved the cockpit voice recorder from an Egyptian charter plane that crashed earlier this month, killing all 148 people on board, officials said Sunday. The recorder was retrieved Sunday, said Shaker Qilada, head of the Egyptian investigation team. On Saturday, the other so-called "black box" -- the flight data recorder -- was recovered from the wreckage of the Flash Airlines Boeing 737 that crashed Jan. 3, minutes after taking off from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheik. Investigators will use the black boxes to try to determine why the plane crashed.-- From wire reports

Bomb destroys car of France's first Muslim regional administrator

NANTES, France -- A bomb destroyed the car of a regional administrator in eastern France on Sunday, and there were fears he was targeted because he is the first foreign-born and Muslim person to hold the post. No one was injured in the blast. The explosion at about 4:30 a.m. in the western city of Nantes shattered nearby windows, woke up neighbors, and left the car in flames, said Gerard Davergne, an assistant prosecutor. The owner of the car, newly named Prefect Aissa Dermouche, was at home when the blast occurred. Dermouche, 57, the director of a business school in Nantes, was named Wednesday to the post of prefect for France's eastern Jura region. A prefect is the highest state representative of a French region. His appointment came amid a heated debate over French affirmative action policies aimed at giving immigrants a better place in society. Dermouche was born in Algeria. "There are no leads for the moment, and no claim of responsibility," said Nantes prosecutor Jean-Marie Huet. Dermouche had received no threats prior to the blast, he said.

-- From wire reports

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