In the World

Francois Bozize , president of the Central African Republic, is facing a new threat. AP, File
Francois Bozize , president of the Central African Republic, is facing a new threat. AP, File
Posted: March 24, 2013

Drugs found on ship; 9 arrested

MADRID - Spanish, Portuguese, and British police boarded a ship loaded with nearly two tons of cocaine destined for sale in Europe and arrested nine people, the Interior Ministry said Saturday.

Special agents, including members of Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency, conducted a raid March 15 while the ship was in the Atlantic Ocean, 700 miles southwest of Portugal's Cape Verde islands.

"It is the largest operation so far in 2013 in our fight against drug trafficking," said Ignacio Cosido, Spain's director general of police.

Five crew aboard, four Brazilians and a Korean, were arrested and four alleged organizers - including the suspected Venezuelan mastermind - were rounded up the next day in Portugal. - AP

Rebels advance despite treaty

BANGUI, Central African Republic - Hundreds of rebels penetrated the capital of Central African Republic on Saturday, posing the gravest threat to President Francois Bozize's government in a decade.

The rebels, who signed a peace agreement in January that was to allow Bozize to stay in power until 2016, have threatened to overthrow the country's leader unless he meets their demands. The rebels come from several armed groups that have long challenged the government.

The unrest is the latest threat to the stability of Central African Republic, a desperately poor nation of 4.5 million that has long been wracked by rebellions and power grabs. The president himself took power in 2003 following a rebellion. Bozize's whereabouts late Saturday were not immediately known. - AP

Tornado kills 20 in Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh - A tornado that ripped through 20 villages in eastern Bangladesh has killed 20 people and injured 200, a government official said Saturday.

Initial reports said at least 10 were killed in the storm that lashed the distant villages in Brahmanbaria district on Friday.

On Saturday, local government administrator Noor Mohammad Majumder said the death toll had climbed to 20, with 200 injured.

The local Prothom Alo newspaper reported that the 15-minute storm destroyed many homes and shops, and toppled a large number of trees and electricity poles. - AP

New bells ring at Notre Dame

PARIS - Thousands have gathered outside Notre Dame Cathedral to hear the inaugural ringing of nine gargantuan new bells at the Paris landmark.

The bells, the largest of which weighs 61/2 tons, were ordered for the cathedral's 850th birthday - to replace the discordant "ding dang" of the previous four 19th-century chimes.

Saturday was the first time the bells have been rung since they were delivered to the cathedral in late January. - AP

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