- - Monday, March 19, 2012

LONDON, Ontario — Revelers set a large street fire and battled police and fire crews who tried to intervene after St. Patrick’s Day celebrations got out of hand in this town in Ontario province, authorities said Sunday.

Police said at least 11 people had been arrested and more arrests were expected as authorities review video of the disturbance and witness statements.

At least 17 police vehicles were damaged. No serious injuries were reported.

The trouble began Saturday night, when a crowd of about 1,000 people, many of whom had been drinking, celebrated in the streets in a district near Fanshawe College that is heavily populated by students and has been the site of previous smaller disturbances.

District Fire Chief Jim Holmes said fire crews were called to the scene after revelers flipped over a TV news van and set it on fire, but the crews were driven back when some people in the crowd pelted them with rocks and bottles.


Police probe mysterious deaths at two hospitals

MONTEVIDEO — Uruguayan police said an investigation into dozens of possibly induced deaths at two hospitals has led to the detention of at least two people.

Police inspector Jose Luis Roldan said Sunday that officials suspect hospital workers brought a sort of poison from Brazil and gave it to patients who were in critical condition.

Judge Rolando Vomero, who is overseeing the case, told the newspaper El Observador that hospital staff and relatives of alleged victims reported what could be dozens of cases.


Diplomat’s daughter death prompts fear of police

CARACAS — The killing of a Chilean diplomat’s teenage daughter by police is reigniting concerns among Venezuelans about excessive force by officers and their alleged involvement in rampant violent crime.

Karen Berendique, 19, was riding in a vehicle with her older brother and another young man when police at a checkpoint opened fire early Saturday in the western city of Maracaibo, said her father, Fernando Berendique, Chile’s honorary consul in the city.

He said they ignored a police command to stop, fearing the officers might be robbers.

Twelve police officers were detained in the case and are under investigation, the Justice Ministry said.

Radio program host Beatriz Navas said on Sunday that many Venezuelans are concerned about police abuse and officers’ involvement in violent crime.


Morales threatens to close U.S. Embassy

LA PAZ — Leftist President Evo Morales warned in comments published Sunday that he would close the U.S. Embassy in La Paz if Washington continues to interfere in his country’s domestic affairs.

Mr. Morales, who has faced a proliferation of protests in recent weeks over a variety of issues, has accused the United States of fueling the unrest against his government.

“If the U.S. Embassy continues bothering Bolivia, as it is doing now, then it is best we close the United States Embassy in Bolivia because we are anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and anti-neoliberals,” the state-run ABI news agency quoted him as saying.

The embassy had no comment.

The two countries have not exchanged ambassadors since 2008, when Mr. Morales expelled U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg and officials of the Drug Enforcement Administration after accusing them of taking part in a right-wing conspiracy against him.

Washington reciprocated by kicking out the Bolivian ambassador to Washington.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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