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Canada: 1 dies in storm

TORONTO — Violent storms carrying possible tornados tore across parts of Ontario, killing one person.

There were reports of funnel clouds causing damage in at least three areas.

Several buildings were damaged and trees were strewn throughout the southwestern Ontario town of Durham after a possible tornado touchdown. The West Grey Police Services confirmed one person was killed in Durham during the storm, but did not provide details.

There were also funnel-cloud sightings in Vaughan, north of Toronto, where residents reported roofs torn off homes.

Iran: May address nukes

CAIRO — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has settled on a strategy of trying to consolidate power by surrounding himself with loyalists at home while appearing to signal to the international community a readiness to address the nuclear issue, political commentators, diplomats and scientists said Thursday.

While much attention has been focused on Ahmadinejad's decision to try to pack his Cabinet with loyalists, his choice of a well-respected physicist, Ali Akbar Salehi, as a vice president and the head of Iran's nuclear agency has been greeted in the diplomatic and scientific community as signaling a possibly less dogmatic, more pragmatic nuclear policy.

Mexico: Decriminalization

MEXICO CITY — Mexico enacted a controversial law Thursday decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs while encouraging free government treatment for drug dependency.

The law sets out maximum "personal use" amounts for drugs, including LSD and methamphetamine. People detained with those quantities will no longer face criminal prosecution when the law goes into effect Friday.

Pakistan: Missiles kill 9

ISLAMABAD — A suspected missile attack early today destroyed a militant hideout in northwest Pakistan, killing at least seven people, two intelligence officials said.

The officials said some people also were wounded when the two missiles hit a compound in the village of Dande Darpa Khel, near Miran Shah in troubled tribal region of North Waziristan.

Russia: 57 missing in blast

MOSCOW — Harrowing details are emerging of the explosion and flood that devastated Russia's largest hydroelectric plant, killing at least 17 people and leaving 57 missing.

More than 1,000 rescue workers searched the massive Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric plant in southern Siberia on Thursday for the missing, although there is little hope anyone could still be alive after three days in near-freezing waters. The remaining water from the flooded turbine room was pumped out Thursday, and three bodies were found.

A powerful explosion Monday blew out walls and caused the power plant's turbine room to flood.

China: Police investigated

BEIJING — At least six district police chiefs are being investigated on suspicion of protecting local gangs in a major crackdown on crime in the southwest city of Chongqing, state media said Friday.

The six are suspected of being "protective umbrellas" for gangs, the official China Daily reported. Local media have reported that the gangs were involved in illegal casinos, loan-sharking and extortion.

Chongqing is nearly two months into a concerted campaign against gangs that has already snared the head of the judicial bureau and a former longtime deputy head of the police, who was detained earlier this month. So far, 1,544 suspects have been investigated, including prominent business people, the newspaper said.