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In brief: Commercial plane goes down in Cuba

Fri., Nov. 5, 2010

HAVANA – A Cuban airliner flying from the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba to the capital crashed after declaring an emergency Thursday evening with 68 people aboard, including 28 foreigners, state media reported. There was no immediate word on whether any survived.

AeroCaribbean Flight 883 went down near the village of Guasimal in Santi Spiritus province, carrying 61 passengers and a crew of seven, state television said. It said 28 passengers were foreigners, but did not give a breakdown of nationalities.

State media said the names of those on board would be released later.

The twice-a-week flight goes from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to Santiago de Cuba to Havana. It had been due to land in the Cuban capital at 7:50 p.m. but reported an emergency at 5:42 p.m. and subsequently lost contact with air traffic controllers.

The flight would have been one of the last leaving Santiago de Cuba for Havana ahead of Tropical Storm Tomas, which was on a track to pass between Cuba’s eastern end and the western coast of Haiti on Friday. Cuban media said earlier that flights and train service to Santiago were being suspended until the storm passed.

Crash kills 22 near Pakistan airport

KARACHI, Pakistan – A small plane carrying 22 people crashed near the airport in Pakistan’s largest city today after the pilot warned of engine troubles, officials said. There were no survivors.

The crash was the second in less than four months in Pakistan, which has struggled with numerous crises this year. The previous crash, in July, killed 152 people and was the worst-ever on Pakistani soil.

The plane that crashed this morning had just taken off from the southern city of Karachi. The pilot told the control tower minutes before the crash that there appeared to be some fault with the engine, said Pervez George, a spokesman for the country’s Civil Aviation Authority.

The pilot was ordered to return to the airport, but as he was turning the aircraft, it went down in an open field, the spokesman said. The plane caught on fire after the crash. The make and model of the plane were not immediately clear, but officials said it was chartered to an oil company.

Biography draws royal comment

STOCKHOLM – Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf has appealed for peace and quiet after a new book shattered a long-held tradition among Swedish media not to print intimate details about his private life.

Speaking to throngs of reporters at his annual moose hunt Thursday, the figurehead monarch said he had not read the book, which includes claims of visits to seedy nightclubs and an extramarital affair in the 1990s.

Without addressing those claims directly, the 64-year-old king said he understood from media headlines that the book dealt with events that happened “far back in time” and that he had spoken with his wife, Queen Silvia, about it.

“We’re turning the page, much like you do in your newspapers, and look ahead instead,” he said.

Rumors about the king’s private life have swirled around Sweden for years, but even the tabloids had refrained from putting them in print until the book, “Carl XVI Gustaf – The Reluctant King,” being released this week.


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