- - Thursday, October 7, 2010

CANADA

Officer to plead guilty to murder, rape

BELLEVILLE, Ontario | The lawyer for a military commander who flew Queen Elizabeth II and other dignitaries around Canada said Thursday his client will plead guilty to murder, sexual assaults and dozens of breaking and entering charges.

Col. Russell Williams was the commander of Canada’s largest air force base until he was charged earlier this year with the murder of two women, the sexual assault of two others and 82 break-ins, during which he stole women’s panties.

Michael Edelson, who is Col. Williams‘ lawyer, told a judge at a hearing Thursday that Col. Williams intends to plead guilty to all the charges at his next court appearance on Oct. 18. Col. Williams appeared at the hearing but did not speak.

The case shocked the country, hurt soldiers’ morale and prompted fears that the commander of Canada’s most high-profile military base and the man who once flew the country’s prime ministers could have been a serial killer.

CHILE

Escape shaft to reach miners by Saturday

SAN JOSE MINE | Chile’s mining minister said a shaft wide enough to provide an escape for 33 miners should reach the men by Saturday.

Laurence Golborne said that once the drill breaks through, it could take anywhere from three to 10 more days to pull the miners to safety.

The countdown can’t really begin until they determine whether to insert a steel sleeve in the shaft. That could reduce the risk of something going wrong on the miners’ way up, but lowering straight pipe through a curved section also is risky.

HUNGARY

Toxic red sludge reaches the Danube

KOLONTAR | Toxic red sludge from a Hungarian factory has reached Europe’s second-longest river.

Downstream on the Danube, officials in Croatia, Serbia and Romania are testing water samples every few hours.

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