- - Sunday, January 8, 2012


Police identify body found on queen’s estate

LONDON — The remains of a woman found on one of Queen Elizabeth’s vast estates belong to a 17-year-old missing girl, British detectives said Sunday.

Forensic tests identified the decomposed body as that of Alisa Dmitrijeva, a Latvian girl who was reported missing from her home in eastern England in August, Norfolk police said.

The body was found by a dog walker on New Year’s Day in woodland three miles from the royal residence at Sandringham House.

Sandringham, in rural Norfolk, is a vast estate where the queen and her family traditionally gather to celebrate the holiday season. The royal family is not implicated in the crime in any way.

Part of the nearly 31-square-mile estate is open to the public, and the body was found at Anmer, a hamlet of several dozen people.

Detective Chief Inspector Jes Fry, who is probing the case, said police are trying to find out about any activity that took place on or near the site in August through September, and looking for people who may have worked in the area.


Heavy snow slows road, rail travel in Alps

GENEVA — Heavy snow is blanketing much of the central Alpine region between eastern Switzerland and western Austria, bringing road and rail traffic to a crawl.

At least one person has died in a weather-related incident.

Three days of snowfall have dumped more than 3 feet of fresh snow in some areas.

Part of a major east-west railway link in Austria’s Tyrol province remained closed Sunday. Authorities said a Czech man died in Austria on Saturday when a car skidded and hit him as he was fitting snow chains to his own car.

In Switzerland, authorities warned of avalanche risk throughout the Swiss Alps and Jura Mountains.

Meteo Suisse predicted an end to the snowfall by Monday and perfect winter sports conditions throughout the week.


Pope names 22 cardinals, including 2 Americans

Pope Benedict XVI has named 22 new cardinals, including prelates in such key posts as New York and Hong Kong and a large number of Italians holding major Vatican positions.

Cardinals are the pope’s top advisers, the elite group of churchmen who eventually will elect Benedict’s successor. Of the 22, 18 are younger than 80 - raising to 125 the number of cardinals eligible to vote in the next papal conclave. Cardinals aged 80 and older are not allowed to vote on the next pope.

The list includes two Americans: Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York and Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, grand master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

Other new cardinals come from Berlin, Prague, Toronto and Florence, Italy.

The 84-year-old pontiff Friday named 16 Europeans as cardinals, including seven Italians. He also named Joao Braz de Aviz, a Brazilian who heads the Vatican office for religious life; John Tong Hon, bishop of Hong Kong; and George Alencherry, archbishop of the Syro-Malabar church in India.


Child in stroller swept into sewage system

MOSCOW — Police in a provincial Russian city say an 18-month-old child was swept into the underground municipal sewage system when a sidewalk collapsed because of a ruptured pipe.

The mother, a 26-year-old police officer’s wife, was pushing the child in a stroller in the city of Bryansk when the ground caved in underneath them.

Police say the woman was rescued, but the child was swept away by the current into a collecting tank for the sewage system and presumed dead.

Investigators were working to determine the cause of Sunday’s accident, but they suspect faulty construction of the system may be to blame.

Underground pipes carrying hot water occasionally burst in Russia, causing the ground above them to suddenly collapse to the peril of those walking above.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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