- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 7, 2007


28 dead as train slams into bus

HAVANA — At least 28 persons were killed and 73 injured yesterday in Cuba’s deadliest accident in years when a train slammed into a bus, state television reported.

A train that left Cuba’s second-largest city, Santiago, headed for Manzanillo, in Granma province, slammed into the bus at a crossing in Yara, about 500 miles southeast of Havana, the report said.

Authorities were investigating the cause of the crash, the report added.


Typhoon hits island; mainland on alert

TAIPEI — Typhoon Krosa slammed into Taiwan yesterday, with strong winds and heavy rains cutting power and canceling flights, while China’s mainland braced for what it called a probable serious hit.

Authorities in China ordered the provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian to call more than 27,000 fishing boats back to safe harbors, the Xinhua news agency said.

In Taiwan, disaster authorities said the storm shut down schools and businesses in the north of the country. Three persons were hurt, the National Fire Agency said.


Ex-prime minister to get new post

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan — Former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov will be appointed head of the country’s foreign-intelligence service, President Vladimir Putin said yesterday. Mr. Fradkov, 57, served as prime minister under Mr. Putin from 2004 until last month, when he was replaced by Viktor Zubkov in a government reshuffle ahead of parliamentary elections in December and a presidential vote next March.

Mr. Fradkov’s predecessor as chief of the agency, Sergei Lebedev, was on Friday appointed executive secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which unites 12 former Soviet states.

Mr. Putin was in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, attending a series of summits of post-Soviet states. Mr. Putin, who is due to step down next year, said he would throw a farewell birthday party at the Kremlin today, when he turns 55.


Pinochet children released from jail

SANTIAGO — The sons and daughters of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet were released from jail yesterday after spending two nights behind bars, accused of siphoning off public funds for their own use.

The late general’s two sons and three daughters were arrested Thursday as part of a probe into charges their father stole millions of dollars during his 1973-1990 rule and channeled it into private bank accounts.

A court ruled yesterday they could return home, although they remain under investigation. The court order also applied to Mr. Pinochet’s 84-year-old widow, Lucia Hiriart, who became ill after being informed of her arrest and spent two nights in a hospital.


Border with Iraq to be reopened

TEHRAN — Iran plans to reopen a border with Iraq’s Kurdish region, an Iranian news agency reported yesterday, after Iraqi officials said it was closed last month in protest at the detention of Iranians by U.S. forces.

Iran had not previously given a clear explanation for the closure reported by Iraqi officials. But the move followed the detention in Iraq’s northern Kurdish area by U.S. forces of an Iranian man, who was accused of supporting Iraqi militants.

Tehran has called the arrest of the detained man, identified as Mahmoudi Farhadi, as a violation of international law. It has also protested the detention since January of five other Iranians, also accused by Washington of assisting militants in Iraq.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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