- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 14, 2004

RUSSIA

Roof collapses, killing 11, injuring 96

MOSCOW — A glass roof covering a Moscow water park collapsed yesterday evening, apparently under the weight of accumulated snow, killing at least 11 persons and injuring about 96.

The roof collapsed at about 7:30 p.m. as the Transvaal water park in Moscow’s southwestern suburb was filled with hundreds of people, basking in its heat while temperatures outside hovered around 5 degrees.

A duty officer at the police department said three persons were killed, but news reports gave varying figures as high as six.

The water park is one of several flashy entertainment venues that have opened over the past couple of years on the city’s outskirts. It includes a large pool, an artificial river and a water slide.

ITALY

Prodi plans return to political arena

ROME — European Commission President Romano Prodi announced here yesterday that he plans to return to politics in his native Italy when his EU mandate ends in October.

Mr. Prodi was in the Italian capital to take part in the launch of a joint list of candidates called “United in the Olive Tree Alliance with Prodi,” which groups four opposition center-left parties for European elections in June.

The four parties in the coalition are the Democrats of the Left, the Daisy coalition, Italian Social Democrats and the European Republicans.

SWEDEN

New HIV infections show big increase

STOCKHOLM — The number of HIV-positive people living in Sweden has increased dramatically over the past year, but in most of the new cases people were infected outside of the country, Swedish Red Cross President Anders Milton said Saturday.

“Over the past five to six years, we’ve diagnosed about 250 new HIV cases annually. But in 2002, that number rose to 280, and last year we registered 380 new cases,” Mr. Milton said.

About half of the new cases can be attributed to immigrants who moved to Sweden already infected with the virus, while about 80 to 90 new infections were contracted by Swedes traveling abroad, Mr. Milton said.

CROATIA

Officials deny fugitive general in country

ZAGREB — Croatian officials said yesterday that a fugitive general wanted by the U.N. war crimes court, whose case is seriously affecting Croatia’s bid to join the European Union, was not hiding in the country.

“[Gen. Ante] Gotovina is not in Croatia for if he was I believe we would have some indications and relevant services would surely provide us with some intelligence on that,” Deputy Prime Minister Andrija Hebrang told national radio.

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