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In brief: Avalanche, blizzard in Nepal’s mountains claim 12

From Wire Reports

KATMANDU, Nepal – An avalanche and blizzard in Nepal’s mountainous north have killed at least 12 people, including eight foreign trekkers, officials said Wednesday. Five other climbers were hit by a separate avalanche on Mount Dhaulagiri and remain missing.

The death toll was likely to rise as rescuers struggle through snow and rough terrain to help dozens who remained stranded, the officials said.

An avalanche buried one Indian and four Canadian trekkers in Phu on Wednesday, said Devendra Lamichane, chief administrator of Manang district. Three villagers were killed Monday in the same district, about 100 miles northwest of the capital, Katmandu.

In neighboring Mustang district, four trekkers caught in a blizzard died Tuesday. Rescuers recovered the bodies of two Poles, one Israeli and one Nepali from the Thorong La pass area.

LOS ANGELES – Elizabeth Pena, the versatile actress who shifted between dramatic roles in such films as “Lone Star” and comedic parts in TV shows like “Modern Family,” has died. She was 55.

Pena’s manager, Gina Rugolo, said Wednesday the Cuban-American actress died Tuesday in Los Angeles of natural causes after a brief illness. No other details were provided.

Born in New Jersey, Pena’s Hollywood career spanned four decades and included roles in such movies as “La Bamba,” “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” “Jacob’s Ladder” and “Rush Hour.”

Pena appeared on such TV shows as “L.A. Law,” “Dream On,” “Resurrection Blvd.” and “Modern Family,” where she played the mother of Sofia Vergara’s character, Gloria.

Bermuda bracing for hit by Gonzalo

HAMILTON, Bermuda – Hurricane Gonzalo barreled toward Bermuda as a major Category 3 storm Wednesday, threatening the tiny archipelago where people rushed to repair homes and clear trees and power lines knocked down by a weekend tropical storm.

Gonzalo had top sustained winds of 120 mph and was about 580 miles south-southwest of Bermuda late Wednesday. It was moving north at 9 mph and was expected to be near Bermuda on Friday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

A hurricane warning was in effect for Bermuda, and forecasters said a dangerous storm surge could cause significant flooding on the island.

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