In the World

Posted: February 11, 2013

Safety drill leaves 5 dead

LA PALMA, Canary Islands - A lifeboat being used on a safety drill aboard a cruise ship in Spain's Canary Islands fell about 65 feet into a port on Sunday when a cable snapped, trapping crew members beneath it and killing five of them, officials said.

None of the hundreds of passengers aboard the British-operated vessel were involved in the accident, which also injured three crew members, said the Canary Islands port authority.

Divers raced to the lifeboat, which had hit the water upside down, recovering four bodies and trying without success to revive a fifth crewman who had stopped breathing, the authority said. - AP

New church leader in Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria - Syria's Greek Orthodox Church enthroned a new patriarch during a ceremonial Mass in Damascus on Sunday amid civil war.

John Yazigi, 57, replaces Ignatius Hazim as the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. Hazim died in December.

Christians represent about 5 percent of the population in Syria, where rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are locked in a civil war the U.N. says has killed more than 60,000 people. On Sunday, the two sides continued the battle for a key Damascus highway.

During the ceremony in the Church of Holy Cross in Damascus, Patriarch Yazigi said he will work for peace and pray for unity. - AP

Jordan's king hails legislature

AMMAN, Jordan - Jordan's king inaugurated the country's newly elected parliament Sunday with a pledge to press ahead with democratization, but said he will help pick the next prime minister even though that job is now officially in the hands of the lawmakers.

Abdullah II touted the Jan. 23 election as a "milestone" in reforms he initiated two years ago to forestall Arab Spring unrest that toppled four of his peers since 2010. He recently suggested that the new legislature will have more powers to run the daily affairs of the state and monitor the cabinet in the future as the monarchy takes a step back, giving the people a wider say in politics. - AP

Elsewhere:

At least 31 people were killed and others were injured Sunday after a stampede broke out at a train station in the northern Indian town where millions of devout Hindus gathered for a religious festival, Railway Minister Pawan Bansal said.

Opposing factions in Bahrain began talks Sunday to ease an Arab Spring conflict that has run longer than Syria's rebellion and is playing out on the doorstep of the U.S. military's main naval base in the Persian Gulf.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban in October for defying the group's ban on girls' education, was discharged from a British hospital Friday after cranial reconstruction and a cochlear implant to restore hearing in her left ear.

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