- - Wednesday, August 3, 2011

HAITI

Tropical Storm Emily nears Hispaniola

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Tropical Storm Emily brushed past Puerto Rico and headed Wednesday toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where more than 630,000 people are still without shelter after last year’s earthquake.

A “steady shield of rain” should reach the island of Hispaniola shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti around noon Wednesday and the rainfall should worsen by late afternoon, said John Dlugoenski, senior meteorologist with AccuWeather.com.

But it appears the worst of the storm will largely spare the Haitian capital, where most of the quake victims are sheltered.

CYPRUS

Coalition partner quits government

NICOSIA — Cyprus’ ruling coalition partner party quit the government Wednesday over disagreements about ongoing talks to reunify the ethnically divided island, officials said.

The move by the DIKO party doesn’t mean the government is dissolved, but it does leave embattled President Dimitris Christofias with a minority in parliament and drives him deeper into isolation.

A political and economic crisis was triggered by a deadly blast last month of seized Iranian munitions at a naval base that also wrecked the island’s main power station, the supplier of more than half the island’s electricity.

It also may make it more difficult for Mr. Christofias’ government to pass key spending cuts and economic reforms in the House of Representatives to cope with the blast’s aftermath.

Mr. Christofias now is backed only by the communist-rooted AKEL party he has led for 20 years. AKEL has 19 seats in the 56-seat parliament, and DIKO holds nine.

AUSTRALIA

Bomb squad frees teen trapped near device

SYDNEY — An Australian bomb squad safely freed a teenager trapped near a suspicious device for 10 horrifying hours Wednesday, setting off mysteries as to who put the device in the woman’s Sydney home and why.

Police didn’t know whether the device was an explosive but were looking for a person who they suspect placed it in the woman’s home, New South Wales state Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said.

Police refused to confirm reports that the device had been tethered to the 18-year-old woman’s body and kept a tight lid on information throughout her ordeal.

They said they did not consider it a case of “self-harm” and that the woman had tried vigilantly to help police since she called them to her home about 2:30 p.m. in the wealthy suburb of Mosman.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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