Around the world
HAITI: The withdrawal of U.S. troops is proceeding ahead of schedule, a military spokeswoman said Saturday as hundreds of soldiers flew home. By next weekend, only 6,000 soldiers will remain in Haiti, said Maj. Regina Largent. That's less than a third of the number at the peak of the occupation, which began Sept. 19. The level is expected to remain at 6,000 through January. After that, an undetermined number of U.S. soldiers will participate in the U.N. force that will take over the mission.TRAIN CRASH: The death toll reached 29 Saturday in the crash of a Budapest-bound express train that jumped the tracks and slid into a station building. Hungarian state radio said at least 56 people were injured. The accident occurred Friday at Szajol, about 40 miles southeast of the Hungarian capital. The train's second car derailed, dragging three other cars with it, and some of the carriages smashed into the station building.
SHIP CRASH: Crowded sea lanes and glaring lights from small fishing vessels may have caused Friday's dawn collision between a passenger ship and a Singapore-based cargo vessel that killed at least 37 passengers in the Philippines, a shipping executive said Saturday. Coast Guard frogmen recovered the body of a woman from the wreck of the MV Cebu City, which sank after being rammed by the Kota Suria of Singapore. Recovery efforts, however, were halted for the day as winds picked up and seas turned heavy.
LEBANON: Lebanon's president reportedly rejected the resignation of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and accused Hariri's opponents of taking bribes, evading taxes and making illegal contacts with Israelis. Hariri, a 51-year-old billionaire, announced his decision to quit after a stormy Cabinet session Thursday. Aides said he planned to submit a letter of resignation to President Elias Hrawi next week.
SENTENCING: The parents, brother and cousin of a Turkish girl were sentenced in Paris Saturday for strangling the 15-year-old after they claimed she "dishonored" the family name by becoming too Westernized. The family members were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 20 years to life in prison in a dramatic case that riveted France and underscored the isolation of immigrant families from mainstream society.
Across the nation
TAXI CRASH: An out-of-control taxi crashed into a Philadelphia nightclub early Saturday, injuring more than 40 people as it traveled 30 feet through the club and came to a stop on the dance floor. The Deco Club on the Delaware River waterfront was crowded with guests celebrating its opening when the cab came through a front window.
GIFT: David Rockefeller is giving $11 million to set up a center for Latin American studies at Harvard University, the school announced Saturday. The center will be named for Rockefeller, who is an alumnus, a former trustee and the retired chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank.
FIRE: A fire swept through a wood-frame house Saturday night, killing five children and injuring seven other people in Hempstead, N.Y. Firefighters battled the blaze in the two-story home on Long Island for an hour before putting it out.
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