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In brief: Sludge reservoir near collapse

Hungarian soldiers wearing protective gear are washed by water jets in Devecser,  Hungary, on Saturday.  (Associated Press)
Hungarian soldiers wearing protective gear are washed by water jets in Devecser, Hungary, on Saturday. (Associated Press)

Devecser, Hungary – The cracking wall of an industrial plant reservoir appeared on the verge of collapse late Saturday, and engineers were working to blunt a possible second wave of the caustic red sludge that has already deluged several towns in western Hungary and killed seven.

Residents of one nearby town were evacuated, others were ordered to be ready to evacuate, and everyone was bracing for a new onslaught of toxic material. Engineers feared a second wave could be even more toxic than the first because the sludge remaining in the reservoir was more concentrated.

Pyongyang, North Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and his son, heir apparent Kim Jong Un, appeared together at a massive military parade today held amid celebrations marking the foundation of the country’s ruling party.

The two Kims stood on a reviewing stand at Pyongyang’s central Kim Il Sung Square, named after the country’s national founder, where goose-stepping military personnel marched by and military hardware, including tanks, passed below.

The festivities were broadcast on state television, giving the North Korean people one of their first good looks at their future leader, who will succeed his father to carry the communist dynasty into the third generation.

IRAQ BURIN, West Bank – Extremist Jews ripped off branches and cut the roots of Palestinian olive trees in the West Bank village of Burin, residents said Saturday, as the yearly harvest of the important crop begins.

The attack came at the beginning of the 45-day Palestinian olive harvest. It’s traditionally a time of heightened violence, as a minority of extremist Jews tries to provoke Palestinians.

Some two dozen men from a nearby Jewish settlement damaged the trees in Burin after they tried to attack Palestinians bulldozing an access road to their fields, said Bilal Eid, a witness

“The settlers began cutting the trees, trying to kill the roots. They are trying to scare us,” Eid said. The damage could kill the trees, which were meant to be harvested this week, he said.

A military spokeswoman said Israeli forces ordered the Jewish intruders to leave.

The olives are a staple of Palestinian cooking, used for food and oil. Palestinians are sensitive about any damage done to their trees, which can live for hundreds of years.


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