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HUNGARY

Firm head detained over toxic sludge

DEVECSER | Hungarian police have detained the director of the aluminum company responsible for a flood of caustic red sludge that killed eight people when it burst from its reservoir last week, the prime minister said Monday.

Police said they were questioning Managing Director Zoltan Bakonyi on suspicion of public endangerment causing multiple deaths and environmental damage.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban told parliament that the government wanted to take over MAL Rt., the Hungarian Aluminum Production and Trade Company, because the safe restart of production at the aluminum plant was needed to save the jobs of thousands of workers.

SOUTH AFRICA

Woman acquitted in Winfrey school scandal

JOHANNESBURG | A woman accused of abusing teenagers at Oprah Winfrey’s school for girls in South Africa was acquitted of the charges Monday, and Miss Winfrey said she was “profoundly disappointed” by the trial’s outcome.

Prosecutors had accused former school matron Tiny Virginia Makopo of trying to kiss and fondle girls at the school soon after it opened in 2007 outside Johannesburg. Ms. Makopo also had been accused of assaulting one of the teens as well as a fellow supervisor.

The lavish $40 million Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, which opened in January 2007, aims to give girls from deprived backgrounds a quality education in a country where schools are struggling to overcome the legacy of apartheid.

From wire dispatches and staff reports