- The Washington Times - Monday, January 7, 2008

ITALY

Schools to open despite garbage

NAPLES — Prime Minister Romano Prodi ordered Naples schools to reopen today, despite fears that stinking heaps of uncollected garbage in the streets could spread disease.

More than 100,000 tons of refuse is estimated to be festering in and around the southern Italian city after garbage trucks stopped operating two weeks ago because all landfills are full.

Several schools in the hardest-hit areas said they would stay shut after the winter break until the situation improved.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Legislature to eye EU reform treaty

PRAGUE — The government will send the European Union’s reform treaty to lawmakers for approval by the end of the month, Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra said yesterday.

“We will not artificially hold this up,” he said on Czech public television, though he cautioned that ratification by all the EU’s 27 member states could take 18 months to two years.

IRELAND

Corruption probe involves Ahern

DUBLIN — Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, whose personal finances are under investigation by a judicial tribunal, denied on state radio yesterday that the ongoing probe was damaging him.

He also criticized the leaking of documents regarding his appearances before the Mahon tribunal, which is probing payments to politicians and correspondence between him and Ireland’s tax-collecting authority.

The tribunal is investigating a claim that Mr. Ahern received payments from property developer Owen O’Callaghan between 1989 and 1992, and payments he received when he was finance minister in the early 1990s.

AUSTRIA

Dozens are hurt in crash of bus

VIENNA — A Danish bus carrying mostly Macedonians and Swedes careened off a highway bridge in southeastern Austria overnight, injuring up to 40 passengers, seven of them seriously, police said yesterday.

Investigators said the bus left the bridge after taking a gradient at 60 mph, twice the permitted speed limit, falling some 30 feet onto the Graz-Webling interchange below.

“Paradoxically, the high speed at which the coach was traveling meant it avoided a vertical plunge, which explains how, by sheer luck, there are no fatalities among the 50 passengers,” investigator Heinrich Waxenegger said.

AUSTRIA

Avalanche deaths rise with warmth

VIENNA — An Italian skier yesterday became the ninth avalanche death in the past week in the Austrian Alps as higher temperatures and strong winds proved lethal after heavy snowfalls.

The 34-year-old Italian man was found dead in the snow after being buried alive yesterday afternoon by a wall of snow near Grossarl in the central province of Salzburg. .

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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