More than 150 are killed in Siberian airplane crash

MOSCOW — An airplane carrying about 200 people crashed Sunday in the Siberian city of Irkutsk and most on board were feared dead, officials said. The regional prosecutor's office said a preliminary count showed that more than 150 people died, the Interfax news agency reported.

The report said that the dead were believed to include the eight crew members. The plane was carrying 192 passengers, Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova said. Andrianova said 43 people had been hospitalized and another 10 managed to escape.

The Sibir Airbus A-390 crashed on landing, went off the runway and burst into flames, she said. The plane hit a concrete barrier, collapsing the front section of the aircraft, she said. It then burst into flames. The aircraft was on a flight from Moscow to Irkutsk, near Lake Baikal. It took five emergency services more than two hours to extinguish the flames, Andrianova said.


LONDON — The governing body of the Church of England voted on Saturday to allow women to be bishops, a huge change in centuries of policy for a church that ordained its first female priest just 12 years ago. But officials of the governing body, the General Synod, emphasized that while the theological questions had been effectively resolved, details of the change had yet to be worked out and that it would be years before the first woman bishop is ordained.


TIKRIT — U.S. investigators have asked Iraqi authorities to help them navigate cultural sensitivities to exhume the body of a teenager allegedly raped and murdered with her family by American soldiers, a military official said Saturday. U.S. Maj. Mark Wright said U.S. authorities are aware that Islamic tradition has strict rules governing exhumation and could require religious leaders to become involved in the investigation.


TOKYO — Japan won't compromise on the stern wording of a U.N. resolution that would impose sanctions on North Korea and order the communist regime to stop developing ballistic missiles, Foreign Minister Taro Aso said Sunday. Japan is pushing for a vote on the resolution Monday despite opposition from China, Aso said.


WARSAW — The United States has its political power families — the Kennedys, the Clintons, the Bushes. But nothing quite like what is developing in Poland, which faced the almost certain prospect Saturday of having identical twins as prime minister and president. President Lech Kaczynski was preparing to swear in his twin, Jaroslaw, as the head of a new Cabinet.

Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN — An investigation into three apparent suicides at the Guantanamo Bay prison has found that other detainees may have helped the men hang themselves or were planning to kill themselves, too. Authorities who searched other detainees' cells after the three were found hanged discovered instructions on tying knots, along with several notes in Arabic that were "relevant" to an investigation of a possible broader plot, officials said in court papers filed late Friday in Washington.


MOGADISHU — The Islamic militiamen controlling the Somali capital broke up a wedding celebration because a band was playing and women and men were socializing together, witnesses said Saturday. It was described as the latest crackdown by a group feared to be installing Taliban-style rule in this African nation.

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United Arab Emirates

The government of Abu Dhabi announced Saturday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Guggenheim Foundation to build a 300,000-square-foot museum in the city to be designed by Frank Gehry. The museum, to be called the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, would house modern and contemporary art.


SAN'A — Nineteen alleged al-Qaida members accused of plotting to assassinate Westerners and blow up a hotel used by Americans were acquitted Saturday by a judge who also exonerated some of fighting U.S. troops in Iraq. The accused denied many of the charges, but some had confessed to fighting U.S. troops in Iraq, and had Iraqi stamps in their passports.

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