Around the world
HOSTAGES: Followers of a renegade Muslim extremist waylaid a civilian convoy Wednesday in the Philippines, seized about 50 hostages and killed at least 16, officials said. A wounded survivor said in a radio interview that the four gunmen killed male hostages because they were a burden as the rebels fled pursuing troops on the island of Basilan.FERRY FIRE: Twenty-two people were killed and dozens were missing after a ferry caught fire in the central Philippines, forcing passengers to dive into the sea, coast guard and radio reports said Wednesday. A coast guard spokesman said 183 people survived, many swimming several hundred yards to shore, while others were picked up by fishermen after flames engulfed the 231-ton Flo-Soccour before midnight Tuesday.
JAILED: A 58-year-old man who sprayed air freshener at Prince Charles was jailed for five hours Wednesday in Auckland, New Zealand, after refusing to pay a $5,900 fine. Sam Bracanov, who said he acted to "remove the stink of royalty" from this former British colony, was charged after rushing toward Charles on Feb. 7, spraying aerosol air freshener.
PIT BULL ATTACK: A Danish nightclub bouncer, angered when he saw a rival in his girlfriend's bed, was found guilty by a Paris court of setting a pit bull terrier on the naked man. Burly Stig Hoffner, who served six years with the Foreign Legion, set his fighting dog on a naked Raymond Gros, a black-belt karate teacher, in May 1993, the court found Tuesday. Hoffner walked out of court a free man. He was sentenced to two years jail, of which 20 months were suspended, and he had already served four months in custody.
12TH BODY: British police said Wednesday they had discovered a 12th set of remains in the "House of Horror" serial killing case. The remains were found in a remote field in Gloucestershire. Frederick West, 52, of Gloucester, has been charged with 11 murders in the case, including those of his former wife and two of their daughters.
MIDEAST: Israeli warplanes attacked hilltop Hezbollah positions Wednesday after guer-ril-las fired rockets into Marjayoun in the Israeli-occupied sector of south Lebanon, security sources said. Some of the rockets fell near schools, and some students suffered broken bones and sprained ankles in the rush to bomb shelters and lower floors, the sources said.
Across the nation
ILLNESS: At least 20 of the 400 workers in the new Registry of Motor Vehicles headquarters in Boston have suffered nausea, vomiting and skin rashes in the past week. Initial tests by a private environmental company showed inadequate ventilation near a large printer-copy machine on the fourth floor.
APPEAL: A Massachusetts prisoner, saying he had nothing else to write on, filed a court motion on 4 feet of toilet paper. But the judge was not amused and said she would not consider the inmate's request to get out of jail until it was submitted on "proper paper."