December 26, 2009 in Nation/World

In brief: Searchers find body of girl, 11

From Wire Reports

SALISBURY, Md. – The body of a Maryland girl who authorities say was abducted by a registered sex offender was found Friday in a wooded area near the Delaware state line after thousands of volunteers spent Christmas searching for her.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis said the body of 11-year-old Sarah H. Foxwell was discovered about 4 p.m. He offered few other details. Thomas J. Leggs Jr., 30, was arrested Wednesday and charged in her kidnapping.

Wicomico County State’s Attorney Davis R. Ruark said authorities remain focused on Leggs as they investigate the killing.

Leggs is a former boyfriend of the girl’s aunt, who is her legal guardian. A public defender representing him has not returned a phone call.

“This is not the way we wanted to find our young lady on Christmas, but at the very least we’ve given closure to the family,” Ruark said at the news conference.

Greek freighter burns; nine killed

CARACAS, Venezuela – A Greek-owned freighter caught fire in the Caribbean off Venezuela’s coast on Friday, killing nine crew members and injuring five others, Venezuelan authorities said.

The Aegean Wind was carrying more than 37,000 tons of iron ore from Brazil to Houston when a blaze broke out in the mess hall before dawn Friday, according to the vessel’s owner, Piraeus- based Atlantic Bulk Carrier Management Ltd.

The ship was about 100 miles north of Venezuela at the time, and about 34 miles from Margarita Island.

Venezuelan navy Adm. Carlos Maximo Aniasi Turchio said nine crew members who had been listed as unaccounted for were dead. Six were from the Philippines and the other three were from Greece, he said.

Volcano evacuees share festivities

LEGAZPI, Philippines – Some 47,000 Filipinos who fled their homes in anticipation of the eruption of the Mayon volcano shared rations of noodles, fried fish and fruit to celebrate Christmas in evacuation centers. Children opened donated presents and clowns entertained the crowds, as the government tried to keep the evacuees from slipping back to their homes.

The 8,070-foot volcano has erupted nearly 40 times over 400 years, sending people packing for months at a time. But never has it happened during the Christmas celebration, when Filipinos gather with family and friends.

“I have mixed feelings of sadness and happiness,” 38-year-old vegetable vendor Estela Netuno, who spent the holiday in an evacuation center with her siblings and 9-year-old son, said Friday. “We should be home celebrating with the family, but we are here.”

The military was still trying to get some 600 residents to leave their homes Friday in villages within the five-mile danger zone, said Capt. Razaleigh Bansawan, a military spokesman.

Chief government volcanologist Renato Solidum warned that a hazardous eruption was possible within days.

Sheen jailed after 911 call from home

ASPEN, Colo. – Charlie Sheen spent the better part of Christmas Day in a Colorado jail cell after being arrested on domestic violence allegations.

The 44-year-old actor was taken into custody Friday morning by officers responding to a 911 call from a house in Aspen.

Sheen, the star of CBS’ “Two and a Half Men,” was taken to the Pitkin County jail and booked for investigation of second- degree assault and menacing, both felonies, along with criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, Aspen police spokes- woman Stephanie Dasaro said. He was released in the late afternoon after posting $8,500 bond. Dasaro declined to name Sheen’s accuser.

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