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NEWS CAPSULES

Around the world

MOURNED: Mourners carried their dead through the streets to the cemetery in Esteli, Nicaragua, on Friday, hours after the army routed a rebel attack in a bitter fight for control of the northern city of 140,000 people. Many of the bodies of the estimated 50 killed remained unidentified and unclaimed amid public confusion. Combat ended Thursday night, about 24 hours after roughly 150 discharged soldiers and former Contra rebel fighters raided the city and robbed three banks.CASTRO BENDS: President Fidel Castro declared in a broadcast Friday that his nation was being forced to undertake economic reforms in order to survive but suggested they are not in line with his vision of socialism. "It's hard to imagine the number of difficulties we face," Castro said in explaining economic reforms to a conference of leftist Latin American political parties gathered in Havana. "We have to fix ourselves in order to survive," he said of recent moves to revive a withered economy. "The perfection of socialism is not what is vital to us at this moment."

SEIZED: Armenian forces seized an Azerbaijani stronghold Friday in the war over Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said 2,000 Armenian soldiers and up to 20 tanks entered Agdam on Friday and engaged in house-to-house combat before Azerbaijani troops retreated to the east.

AIR CRASH: A domestic passenger plane crashed into a lake shortly after takeoff in northern China and at least 53 of the 113 people aboard were killed, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Across the nation

KILLERS IN HOUSTON: Officials said Friday so-called killer bees have been found for the first time in the metropolitan area of Houston, more than 300 miles from where the insects crossed the Rio Grande in 1990. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Plant Health Inspection Service said a swarm of the Africanized honey bees were found in a trap eight miles south of Orchard in Fort Bend County, southwest of Houston.

DOUBLE WINNER: A man who won a $1.1 million lottery jackpot days after his wife filed for divorce doesn't have to share it with her, Maryland's highest court said Friday. The 6-1 ruling by the state Court of Appeals overturned a Circuit Court order that Herman Alston divide the money with his ex-wife, Viola Alston. Alston receives $44,000 a year, after taxes, in lottery payments.