- The Washington Times - Friday, August 26, 2005


Fire kills 17 Africans, most of them children

PARIS — Fire raced through a crowded, rundown apartment building housing African immigrants early yesterday, trapping residents in their sleep and killing 17 persons — 14 of them children, officials said.

The blaze began after midnight under the ground-floor stairwell of the seven-story building on the corner of a major boulevard in southeast Paris and raged for three hours.

It was the second deadly blaze in four months at buildings housing immigrants. In April, a fire at a budget Paris hotel killed 24 persons, also mostly from Africa. Many of them were children.


Brothers rearrested in missing-teen case

ORANJESTAD — Two Surinamese brothers who had been detained and released in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway were arrested again yesterday based on new evidence, officials said.

Satish and Deepak Kalpoe were arrested after authorities uncovered “new facts and circumstances” in the investigation of the American teen’s disappearance, the prosecutor’s office said.

The brothers were first arrested on June 9 along with Joran van der Sloot, 18, who authorities have identified as a suspect in the case though no charges have been filed.


Tourists from South visit ancient capital

KAESONG — The first South Korean tourists visited historic sites yesterday in this North Korean city, set to become only the second destination in the communist nation that may be visited by ordinary citizens of its southern neighbor.

Some 500 South Koreans — nearly half of whom were born in what is now North Korea before the 1950-53 Korean War — got to see the ancient city on a pilot trip organized by Hyundai Asan. Since 1998, the Hyundai Group subsidiary has been operating a tourist venture at North Korea’s Diamond Mountain resort that recently received its millionth visitor.

Kaesong was the capital of Korea’s Koryo Dynasty, which reigned from 918 to 1392.


Pope-blessed crowns placed on icon

WARSAW — Tens of thousands of Roman Catholics gathered at Poland’s holiest shrine yesterday to pray as the revered Black Madonna of Czestochowa icon was given a new covering, including gold crowns donated by the late Pope John Paul II, as well as amber and diamonds.

The Polish-born pontiff’s secretary, the Rev. Stanislaw Dziwisz, presided over a Mass and other ceremonies at the Jasna Gora shrine in the southern city of Czestochowa.

The celebrations marked the 350th anniversary of a historical battle in Czestochowa in which Poles defeated Swedish invaders. Many credit the Polish victory to the miraculous power of the painting, a Byzantine style image that legend says was painted by St. Luke the Evangelist.


Human guinea pigs in London Zoo exhibit

LONDON — Caged and barely clothed within a rocky enclosure, eight British men and women monkeyed around at London Zoo yesterday for an amused, bemused crowd behind a sign reading “Warning: Humans in their Natural Environment.”

The captives in the Human Zoo exhibit sunned themselves on a rock ledge, clad in bathing suits and pinned-on fig leaves.

The exhibit puts the three male and five female Homo sapiens side by side with their primate relatives. They were chosen from 30 applicants who entered an online contest and have diverse interests, from a chemist hoping to raise awareness about apes to a self-described actor/model and fitness enthusiast.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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