World/nation briefs

  • Updated: January 5, 2013 - 7:49 PM

COLORADO

Four are killed after standoff in Aurora

Four people, including a gunman who was suspected of taking hostages inside a house, died after a standoff with the police in Aurora, Colo., the site of a deadly shooting rampage in a movie theater last year, authorities said. A woman who had escaped told police that shots had been fired and "that she observed three people inside the home who appeared lifeless," police said. About 50 officers, including a SWAT unit and negotiators, were called. Officers shot the suspected gunman to death after he appeared in a window.

ALASKA

Quake shakes parts of state and Canada

An earthquake sparked a tsunami warning for hundreds of miles of Alaskan and Canadian coastline, but the alert was canceled when no damaging waves were generated. The magnitude 7.5 quake and tsunami warning that followed caused concern in some coastal communities, with alarms sounding and people rushing to higher ground.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Violence for third day over the British flag

Police used water cannons to fend off brick-hurling protesters in Belfast as demonstrations over flying the British flag stretched into a third day. More than 1,000 demonstrators had marched on Belfast's city hall amid a heavy police presence. While the rally passed largely without incident, police then came under attack from a mob of more than 100 people. Protesters have been out in force since a decision by the Belfast City Council to stop flying the British flag year-round.

SUDAN

Leaders plan buffer zone at Sudan border

The presidents of Sudan and South Sudan agreed to set up a demilitarized zone along their disputed border, said an African Union mediator. Sudan and Salva Kiir of South Sudan agreed in September to withdraw their armies from the border area. But neither side has done so and tensions nearly erupted into war in April. Now, both sides have carry out the agreements.

JAPAN

New high for tuna at Tokyo fish sale

Tokyo's main fish market ushered in the new year with an auction that resulted in the highest price paid there, and probably anywhere, for a tuna. A Tokyo-based sushi restaurant chain owner paid $1.76 million for a 488-pound bluefin, or about $3,600 per pound. Restaurant owners from Japan and elsewhere in Asia compete annually for the prestige of buying the year's first tuna, whose meat is prized by sushi fans. Conservationists warn that bluefin have been severely overfished.

ITALY

Six Russians killed in snowmobile crash

Six Russians were killed and two seriously injured when the snowmobile and sled they were riding on veered off an Alpine ski slope at night, slammed into a barrier and flew into a ravine. The unlit slope is labeled "pista nera," or the black ski run, indicating a level of steepness suitable only for the most experienced skiers.

NEWS SERVICES

Mamie Rearden of Edgefield, S.C., who reportedly was the oldest person in the country, has died, her daughters said. She died Wednesday after breaking her hip about three weeks ago in a fall. Rearden, who raised 11 children, was born in September 1898. She was a year younger than the world's oldest person, Jiroemon Kimura of Japan.

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