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Chirac hospitalized for the next week

Sun., Sept. 4, 2005, midnight

La Baule, France French President Jacques Chirac has been hospitalized in Paris after suffering from a blood vessel problem affecting his eyesight and was expected to remain there for about a week, the prime minister said Saturday.

Chirac, 72, was awake and consulting with advisers after being taken to Val-de-Grace Hospital in Paris on Friday evening, said Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.

“Last night, he had a small vascular incident causing slight vision trouble that should fade over the next few days,” Villepin said of Chirac. “He will stay in hospital for a week.”

Villepin did not offer more specifics, but a blood vessel problem of this type could range from a torn vessel to a stroke. Strokes are often connected with vision problems.

More than 50 dead from typhoon in China

Beijing Flooding and landslides triggered by Typhoon Talim have killed at least 53 people on China’s mainland and left 21 missing, the government said Saturday.

Talim roared ashore Thursday, wrecking houses, damaging crops and roads and knocking out power and phone services. Before it hit the mainland, the storm killed at least two people on Taiwan.

The storm knocked down nearly 12,000 houses in Wenzhou in Zhejiang province and damaged homes in the Dabie Mountain area of Anhui, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. The Dabie Mountain area got 16 inches of rain over 24 hours from Friday to Saturday.

Talim weakened to a tropical storm late Thursday and moved inland.

Florida teens caught trying to change grades

Panama City, Fla. Three teenagers face felony charges for allegedly hacking into their school computer system to “fix” grades – not for themselves but for friends.

The 16-year-olds are enrolled in advanced computer classes at Bay High School, and sheriff’s investigator Paul Vecker said they didn’t need to change their own grades.

“These are three young men who are quite intelligent,” he said.

One of the teens is charged with offense against intellectual property and the other two face charges of being principal to offense against intellectual property.

Paris suffers another fatal apartment fire

Paris A suspected arson fire tore through a recently renovated high-rise apartment building south of Paris early today, killing at least 12 people and injuring 16, firefighters and a local official said.

The blaze, the fourth deadly fire in the Paris area since April, broke out in the entrance hall of a 15-story housing project in the Val-de-Marne region south of the capital. The fire was quickly extinguished, but victims succumbed to toxic smoke.

Jean-Luc Marx, a local government spokesman, said authorities had opened an investigation into suspected arson.

The government has announced a series of measures in response, including the planned construction of new housing and the eviction of squatters from buildings considered fire hazards in the wake of three other fires in Paris since April that have killed a total of 48 people – mostly African immigrants.


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