- - Thursday, November 4, 2010

COSTA RICA

Landslide kills 20; others missing

SAN ANTONIO DE ESCAZU | A rain-sodden hillside collapsed on homes in a suburb of Costa Rica’s capital early Thursday, killing at least 20 people, many as they slept.

Dozens of rescuers, some using dogs, were searching for survivors as an undetermined number of people remain missing. But so far they have found only corpses, including the body of a child, according to Hector Blanco, a Red Cross spokesman. They have not yet been identified.

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla said at least 20 bodies had been pulled out the debris by midafternoon, including four minors.

The landslide in the suburb followed two days of heavy rains that flooded a river near the town and sent 1,500 people to shelters across Costa Rica.

ISRAEL

UK: Israeli officials shouldn’t fear arrest

JERUSALEM | Israeli officials should not fear arrest warrants initiated by pro-Palestinian activists when they travel to Britain on official business, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Thursday.

Mr. Hague’s comments sought to reassure Israeli leaders after they suspended an annual strategic meeting in Britain last month owing to fears they could be arrested under the principle of “universal jurisdiction.”

Pro-Palestinian activists in Britain have sought the arrest of Israeli officials under the principle, which allows courts to prosecute purported war crimes from elsewhere in the world.

No cases have gone ahead, but Israeli officials have canceled trips owing to arrest fears. The issue has caused tension between the two countries.

Mr. Hague said officials traveling to Britain will not face arrest.

MEXICO

18 dead found in mass grave

ACAPULCO | Forensic investigators searched for more hidden graves Thursday near where they had already found 18 badly decomposed cadavers that are suspected to belong to Mexican tourists who had set out for Acapulco.

Guarded by soldiers and marines, the investigators used long metal poles to probe the ground in a coconut palm grove in the community of Tuncingo, just east of Acapulco. An anonymous tip led police to the bodies of two men there on Wednesday.

Beside the bodies was were signs that said investigators would find the remains of 20 men — most of them mechanics — who vanished on Sept. 30 after setting out from the neighboring state of Michoacan for a few days off in Acapulco.

IRAQ

Rocket blows up in police truck, kills 4

BAGHDAD | A rocket confiscated by authorities blew up in the back of a police pickup truck in northern Iraq on Thursday, killing four people. Two other people died in a roadside bomb explosion west of Baghdad.

The deaths come just days after the Iraqi capital was hit by a series of horrific attacks that claimed more than 150 lives.

At least 91 people died Tuesday night in a string of bombings in the city’s predominantly Shiite districts, while 58 died in a four-hour siege of a Baghdad church during Sunday Mass.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki strongly condemned the assault on the Catholic church in downtown Baghdad, calling it an “evil terrorist attack that targeted our Christian brothers.”

NIGERIA

Authorities deport 700 illegal immigrants

MAIDUGURI | Immigration officials say they’ve deported 700 illegal immigrants from northern Nigeria to prevent them from casting votes in next year’s presidential election.

Babayo Alkali, comptroller of the Nigeria Immigration Service, told journalists Thursday that the immigrants came from Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Mr. Alkali said since the immigrants arrived in the country without proper documents, they could also find a way to potentially cast ballots in what could be chaotic elections next year.

Many immigrants come to oil-rich Nigeria for opportunities lacking in their countries near the Sahara Desert, where many areas now suffer from a food shortage. Many work as servants and in construction, while others engage in petty trading.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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