Belgium: New leaders sworn in
BRUSSELS — A new Belgian coalition government was sworn into office Thursday, ending a protracted political crisis that had threatened to split the country apart.
King Albert II appointed Yves Leterme as prime minister — nine months after the 2007 elections.
Last year, months of political wrangling over regional autonomy in Belgium — a nation of 6 million Dutch speakers in Flanders in the north and 4.5 million French speakers in the south — kept the new government from taking office.
Brazil: Dengue claims 47
RIO DE JANEIRO — An outbreak of dengue has killed at least 47 people — and perhaps twice that — in Rio de Janeiro state this year, officials said Thursday, announcing a hot spot in a hemispheric outbreak that sickened nearly 1 million people in 2007.
State officials said 51 cases are being reported every hour as the outbreak strains public hospitals' capacity.
China: Quake measures 7.2
BEIJING — A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck western China early today, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
The quake hit about 140 miles southeast of Hotan in Xinjiang province, the USGS said.
Dale Grant, a USGS geophysicist, described the area as "very seismically active" but said today's temblor was the biggest there on record.
Greece: Pension reform OK'd
ATHENS — Parliament approved pension reforms late Thursday despite widespread union protests that have caused rolling blackouts across Greece and left piles of uncollected garbage around Athens and other cities.
Lawmakers voted 151 to 13 in the last of three ballots held Thursday backing the bill, which will cut back early retirement rights and merge lucrative pension funds with financially troubled ones.
The government insists the reforms are vital to protect the country's pension system.
Honduras: U.S. tourist dies
TEGUCIGALPA — A U.S. woman fell 65 feet to her death during a zip-line ride through the jungle on the Caribbean island of Roatan, police said Thursday.
Barbara Sue Fojtasek, 44, was riding along a steel wire hung between trees in the jungle when a harness holding her apparently broke on Tuesday, Honduran police said in a news release.
Fojtasek was taken to a private clinic on the island, then transferred to a hospital in the mainland city of San Pedro Sula, where she died on Wednesday.
Fojtasek had arrived in Roatan a week ago from Texas, said police, who did not identify her hometown or state. Authorities said they are investigating the cause of the fall.
Yemen: Attack suspects
SAN'A — Yemeni police have arrested five suspects in a mortar attack that American officials say targeted the U.S. Embassy but instead struck a girls high school next door, an Interior Ministry official said Thursday.
The three mortar rounds, which killed a Yemeni guard and wounded more than a dozen girls, appeared to have been fired Tuesday from the rooftop of a nearby building rented by the attackers, the ministry official said. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
The official gave no further details about the attackers, their identities or their motivation for the attack.