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World in brief: Seven killed in building blast

Thu., Jan. 28, 2010, midnight

Liege, Belgium – Rescue workers recovered seven bodies from the rubble of a crowded apartment building that collapsed Wednesday after an apparent gas explosion.

At least 21 people were injured, including two in critical condition.

The 2 a.m. blast, which shattered windows up to 100 yards away, woke neighbors from their sleep. Firefighters had still heard survivors in the wreckage when the ornate facade collapsed on the trapped victims in a huge ball of dust hours later at dawn.

“It is likely there was a gas explosion,” Liege Mayor Willy Demeyer said, acknowledging there had been a gas alert in the building over the weekend. No leak was discovered at the time, he said.

Stranded tourists say resources few

Lima, Peru – Tourists visiting Peru’s famed Machu Picchu citadel said Wednesday they lack enough food, water and shelter and are at the mercy of price-gougers three days after mudslides trapped them in a nearby village.

The visitors complained that restaurants are inflating their prices, and many have slept in Machu Picchu Pueblo’s train station or in the central plaza after they ran out of money or the hostels ran out of space.

“It’s chaos. We don’t have food, we don’t have water, we don’t have blankets, we can’t communicate and the police lack an evacuation plan to put us at ease,” Argentine tourist Alicia Casas told Lima’s Canal N TV station.

Authorities say 1,400 travelers remain, stranded since Sunday’s mudslides damaged sections of the railway to the city of Cuzco – the only way in or out of the area.

Botanist guilty of plotting to kill wife

Kingston, Jamaica – A Jamaican jury has convicted a U.S.-born botanist of conspiring to kill his wife on the Caribbean island.

A seven-member jury deliberated for four hours Wednesday before returning a unanimous verdict of conspiracy to murder against George Proctor, an 89-year-old Boston native who has lived in Jamaica for about 60 years.

The wife, whose name has never been released by authorities, was not harmed.

Proctor and his chauffeur, Glenmore Fillington, were both convicted for plotting to murder the 66-year-old woman. Prosecutors said Proctor gave his co-conspirator $90,000 to kill her in April 2006.

Jamaican police arrested Proctor in April 2006 at the Kingston airport as he was about to board a plane to the United States.


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