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NEWS CAPSULES

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LOOTING: Two Papua New Guinea police officers were arrested for looting Friday as authorities struggled to restore law and order in the near-deserted town of Rabaul - half-buried in volcanic ash after five days of volcanic eruptions. Looters have been rifling through shops and homes since the town was evacuated early on Monday after the eruptions of volcanoes Vulcan and Tavurvur on either side of Rabaul. They continue to billow clouds of smoke.

MOCK: A mock disaster staged by a local theater troupe fooled security officials into thinking that two meteors had struck a town outside Le Havre, France, on Friday. Arriving at dawn at the site of the reported impacts in Gon-fre-ville--L'Orcher, firefighters encountered actors dressed as firefighters and soldiers. The set even included a car made to look as if it had been struck by a meteor. "We weren't informed, and it surprised us," said the regional director of civil security, Albert-Jean Foulon. "It wasn't very clever."

Across the nation

SENTENCED: Two women who gouged out their sister's eyeballs because they wanted to free her from demonic possession have each been sentenced to 10 years of probation. Jurors in Denver recommended the sentences for Doretha Crawford and Beverly Johnson, both of Arcadia, La. They were convicted of aggravated assault Wednesday for blinding Myra Obasi. Crawford, 34, and Johnson, 35, told police they fled the 200 miles to Dallas to escape demons. They said their sister was possessed by one of the spirits, but they didn't remember how she lost her eyes.

MEASLES: Measles among adults increased sharply this year, and nearly half were Christian Scientists, who often seek healing through prayer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 730 measles cases in the first half of the year. That's more than four times the 167 cases reported during the same period in 1993 and more than double last year's total of 312. A single outbreak this spring was started by a skier at a Colorado resort, infecting unvaccinated high school or college students, the CDC said. Most were Christian Scientists or had not received the full dose of vaccine.