World briefs 10/24/05

Monday, October 24, 2005

Flu that killed parrot in Britain was deadly H5N1

LONDON -- The British government said Sunday that a strain of bird flu that killed a parrot in quarantine is the deadly H5N1 strain that has plagued Asia and recently spread to Europe. Scientists determined that the parrot, imported from South America, died of the H5N1 strain of avian flu, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Debby Reynolds, DEFRA's chief veterinarian, said the parrot was likely infected with the virus while it was housed in the country's quarantine system with birds from Taiwan.

Death toll may be 117 from Nigerian jet crash

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Twisted chunks of metal, ripped luggage and mangled bodies turned a swath of woods into a grisly scene after a Nigerian passenger plane carrying 117 people crashed shortly after takeoff and officials said Sunday that all aboard were feared dead. Red Cross and government officials said search teams found no sign that anyone on the Boeing 737 survived when it plunged to earth Saturday night after leaving Lagos. There was no immediate indication of what caused the crash, but it was not thought to be terrorist-related.

Quake in Afghanistan kills five, damages villages

KABUL, Afghanistan -- An earthquake destroyed mud-brick homes and killed five people near Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan on Sunday, a Defense Ministry spokesman said. Six others were injured in the quake and an army rescue team and doctors were on their way to the remote mountainous area, said Gen. Mohammed Zahir Azimi. He said details were sketchy and it was not known exactly what time the quake struck. A spokesman for Zabul's provincial governor said five buildings in remote mountain villages were damaged.

Pope Benedict presides over first canonization rite

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI named five new saints Sunday at a Mass closing a three-week meeting of the world's Roman Catholic bishops that reaffirmed the church's position on celibacy for priests and other central teachings. "Today I have the joy of presiding for the first time over a canonization rite," Benedict said in an opening prayer. Those canonized Sunday were the Rev. Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, a Chilean Jesuit; Ukrainians Josef Bilczewski, archbishop of Lviv, and the Rev. Zygmunt Gorazdowski; and Italians Felice da Nicosia, a lay Capuchin who lived in the 1700s, and the Rev. Gaetano Cantanoso, who founded the Veronican Sisters of the Holy Face in 1934.

-- From wire reports

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