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American Scene: Former British PM heckled during Maine speech
WATERVILLE — A handful of protesters briefly interrupted a Maine college graduation speech by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair calling for world unity.
Police say the protesters shouted phrases such as “warmonger” and “war criminal” during Mr. Blair’s speech. One person was arrested.
In his address, Mr. Blair appealed for international cooperation and for people to try to understand other cultures.
The 59-year-old Mr. Blair, the Labor Party’s longest-serving prime minister, served from 1997 to 2007. Since then, he has served as the envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East, representing the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations in working with Palestinians to prepare for statehood.
Fire engulfs frat house, no serious injuries
RUSTON — A fire gutted a Louisiana Tech University fraternity house Saturday, resulting in minor injuries to three firefighters but none to students.
Lt. Tim Parker of the Ruston police said firefighters responded to a 4:35 p.m. call about a fire at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house at the edge of the Tech campus in northern Louisiana. The fire engulfed the building and spread to a nearby structure. It caused a roof collapse and items to be ejected from the frat house, but Lt. Parker denied initial reports that there was an explosion.
He said three firefighters were treated at Northern Louisiana Medical Center. Two suffered from heat exhaustion, while a third was hurt when he was on stairs that gave way.
The half-dozen or more students who were inside the building were all evacuated safely, Lt. Parker said.
“The fire department and police department got all of them out safely,” he said.
The school’s spring commencement was Saturday.
Lt. Parker said every available fire unit in the city responded and they were still battling the blaze more than two hours after it started.
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