The World Today

King orders study of mosque safety

Associated Press / February 21, 2010

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MEKNES, Morocco - King Mohammed VI yesterday ordered experts to check the safety of Morocco’s historic mosques as the death toll from the collapse of a centuries-old minaret rose to 41 people, the official news agency said. The minaret fell onto a crowded mosque during prayers Friday here, a UNESCO heritage site and a walled city that is a maze of winding narrow streets. Some 75 people were injured, 17 of whom are still hospitalized, the North African nation’s official MAP news agency said.

Darfur rebel group approves truce deal
N’DJAMENA, Chad - Darfur’s most powerful rebel group has signed a truce agreement with the Sudanese government, officials said yesterday, marking the rebel group’s return to peace talks aimed at ending the Darfur conflict. The truce between the rebel Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudanese government takes effect immediately, Idriss Deby, Chad’s president, said in a statement. The agreement will guide future talks.

Communists say US fuels opposition
HAVANA - Cuba scolded a top US delegation yesterday for meeting with political opposition leaders after high-level immigration discussions, saying it proves Washington is out to topple the country’s Communist government. A senior American official defended the meeting, saying US policy is to reach out to all sectors of Cuban society - not just the Communist government. But enraged Cuban leaders say the dissidents are paid agents of Washington who were planted to destabilize the island’s political system.