September 29, 2009 in Nation/World

World in brief: Security tightened at Oktoberfest

From Wire Reports
Associated Press photo

A policeman checks the backpack of a visitor to Oktoberfest in downtown Munich, Germany, on Monday.
(Full-size photo)

MUNICH, Germany – Two men with suspected links to Islamic extremists were taken into custody by Munich police, and security at the Oktoberfest beer festival has been increased as videos threatening Germany continued to surface on the Internet, officials said Monday.

Two men from Arab countries were arrested Saturday, the same day authorities banned flights over Oktoberfest, said Munich police chief Wilhelm Schmidbauer.

Traffic was also restricted around the Theresienwiese, the 77-acre festival grounds where Oktoberfest is held for 16 days each year. This year’s event began Sept. 19.

At least five videos by Islamic terrorist groups have threatened Germany in recent weeks. A video released by the Taliban late Friday included pictures of Oktoberfest and threatened an attack.

Van carrying bees crashes, stings

ANKARA, Turkey – A van carrying beehives crashed into a truck on Monday, and huge swarms of bees broke free and stung the injured and rescue workers at the scene.

In the end, about 20 people were taken to hospitals, six of them injured in the crash and the rest rescue workers who were stung by the bees, said the state-run Anatolia news agency.

One crash victim later died, but it was not immediately known if he had been killed by the impact of the accident or the bee stings, said local Gov. Ahmet Altiparmak.

The rescue workers – including about 50 local beekeepers summoned to the scene – used hoses, blankets and rags to try to ward off the bees. But it took about an hour for them to remove the crash victims from the chaotic scene, Anatolia said.

Philippines toll climbs to 240

MANILA, Philippines – Rescuers pulled more bodies from swollen rivers and debris-strewn streets to bring the death toll in massive flooding in the northern Philippines to 240 today as residents dug out their homes from under carpets of mud.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council said today the homes of nearly 1.9 million people in the capital and surrounding areas were inundated, with nearly 380,000 people brought to schools, churches and other evacuation centers.

Overwhelmed officials have called for international help, warning they may not have sufficient resources to withstand another storm that forecasters say is brewing east of the island nation and could hit as early as Friday.

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