CANADA-OIL TRAIN DERAILMENT
GAINFORD, Alberta (AP) -- Firefighters battling a major blaze caused by the derailment of a Canadian National tanker train west of Edmonton, Alberta, early today have decided to withdraw and wait for the flames to burn themselves out. No injuries to people or livestock have been reported.
The latest derailment has raised more questions about rail safety that became a major issue after a runaway oil train derailed in a Quebec town in July, triggering explosions that killed 47 people.
A Canadian National spokesman says 13 cars -- four carrying petroleum crude oil and nine loaded with liquified petroleum gas -- came off the tracks around 1 a.m. local time in the hamlet of Gainford, about 50 miles from Edmonton. Three cars began leaking and caught fire.
A local fire chief says with no further explosions expected from the 13 cars, withdrawing the firefighters is the safest thing to do.
About 100 people from the village of Gainford have been evacuated.
LOS CABOS, Mexico (AP) -- Mexico's Baja California peninsula has been rattled by a 6.4-magnitude offshore quake.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damages.
The United States Geological Survey says the quake occurred at almost 1800 GMT on Saturday and was centered in the Gulf of California, between the Baja Peninsula and Mexico's western coast.
Eldest of Mexico's Arellano Felix clan killed
LOS CABOS, Mexico (AP) -- Police officials say the eldest brother of Mexico's once-feared Arellano Felix drug clan has been shot to death in the Baja California beach resort of Cabo San Lucas by a gunman wearing a clown costume.
Authorities with the municipal police force and Baja California Sur state prosecutor's office said Saturday that Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix's son confirmed his identity at the scene.
The officials were not authorized to be quoted by name. They say Arellano Felix was shot late Friday during a party held at a rented beach house. The costumed gunman wore a round clown nose.
Arellano Felix was the eldest of seven brothers, most of whom have died or been arrested.
He served time on drug charges in the United States but was released and deported in 2008.
1 killed in attack on coca eradicators
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) -- Bolivian authorities say a group of locals armed with rifles and knives has attacked police and soldiers who were destroying illegal coca crops, killing a soldier and injuring at least 16 of his comrades.
It is believed to be the first fatal attack on a coca eradication team since Evo Morales, a coca-growers' union leader, was elected president nearly eight years ago.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement that an army lieutenant was killed with a shot to the chest.
Authorities said eight local men were arrested after the attack in the community of Apolo, about 90 miles north of La Paz.
Bolivia's government considers two-thirds of its coca crop to be legal and dedicated to traditional uses. But it dispatches joint military-police teams to eradicate unapproved coca fields.
SAO PAULO (AP) -- Animal rights activists and police have been clashing in front of a laboratory in Brazil that used dogs for drug tests.
The confrontation came a day after activists broke into the lab and released 178 beagles being used to test for adverse effects of drugs manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry.
Local police say about 500 activists, including members of an anarchist group, today tried to break through barriers set up in front of the lab, threw rocks and set fire to a police car and media vehicles. Police responded with tear gas and pepper spray. There's no word on arrests or injuries.
None of the dogs take from the lab Friday have been recovered.
AMSTERDAM (AP) -- A fire has gutted a building in the Netherlands where Mata Hari, the exotic dancer and World War I spy, was born.
Dutch television broadcast images of the building, now occupied by the Hari hair salon, showing it engulfed in flames on Saturday in the northern city of Leeuwarden, 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Amsterdam.
In 1876, Mata Hari was born there as Margaretha Zelle, the daughter of a Dutch businessman. She later fled an unhappy marriage and won acclaim as an exotic dancer in Paris in the early 1900s.
She was executed by firing squad by the French in 1917 on suspicion of spying for Germany, though her guilt was long a question of historical dispute.
Greta Garbo portrayed Mata Hari in a famous film in 1931.
BRUSSELS (AP) -- A plane carrying parachutists planning to celebrate a birthday with a skydive crashed in Belgium on Saturday, killing all 11 people aboard.
Minutes after the aircraft took off from a small airfield near the city of Namur, witnesses saw part of a wing break off, sending the plane into a spiraling nosedive and crash in a field close to Fernelmont town, said its mayor, Jean-Claude Nihoul. The skydivers and their instructors "were not able to jump out," Nihoul said in a telephone interview.
"It has been a long time we have suffered a tragedy of such kind," said Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, who traveled to the site of the accident.
The victims were almost all between the ages of 20 and 40, and many families lost a father, Nihoul said. "There were 11 on board, and the trip was a birthday present for one of them," he added.
Everyone aboard was killed and no one was hurt on the ground, Nihoul said, adding that three parachutes were found near the crash site. "Some were trying to get out but could not," he said.
The 11 victims were not immediately identified by name, and the cause of the accident was being investigated.
The Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter plane took off in partly cloudy conditions over the wooded and hilly area about 40 miles (60 kilometers) south of Brussels.
Nicolas Hormans of the Paraclub Namur, whose skydivers were among the victims, told RTL network that the plane was probably about 3 kilometers (2 miles) high when it suddenly went down. He said the nosedive would have thrown everyone aboard around with such force that they would not have been able to jump out and parachute to safety.
Such plane crashes in Belgium, a small country of 11 million people, are fairly rare.
King Phillipe was visiting the scene of the accident Saturday night with Prime Minister Di Rupo.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghan officials say a national meeting to discuss the fate of a future security deal with the United States will likely be held in the third week of November.
Organizing committee member Sadeq Mudaber said Saturday that the consultative assembly of tribal elders, or Loya Jirga, will start at some point between Nov. 19 and 21 and could last as long as a week. He expected 3,000 people to attend.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and President Hamid Karzai a week ago reached an agreement in principle on the major elements of a deal that would allow American troops to stay in Afghanistan after 2014.
But Karzai said a potentially deal-breaking issue of jurisdiction over those forces must be debated by the Loya Jirga before he makes a decision.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Gaza's Hamas chief is calling for a renewed violent uprising against Israel.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called Saturday on all Palestinian factions to oppose the recently restarted peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and take up "armed resistance."
Israel is negotiating with the West Bank government of President Mahmoud Abbas. The Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, does not recognize Israel and calls for its destruction. It was responsible for scores of suicide bombings and other attacks against Israel last decade.
Israel recently discovered a pair of tunnels from Gaza it says was aimed at carrying out attacks. Haniyeh spoke on the second anniversary of a prisoner swap with Israel that freed more than a thousand Palestinians in exchange for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit.
Syria reports blast in Damascus suburb, casualties
BEIRUT (AP) -- Syria's state-run news agency says an explosion has occurred in a suburb of the capital Damascus, causing casualties.
SANA says Saturday's blast in Jaramana killed and wounded a number of people.
Rebels have previously targeted Jaramana, a Christian and Druse area mostly loyal to President Bashar Assad, with bombings and mortar rounds.
Assad has drawn support from Syria's ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians and members of his Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. The rebel movement is dominated by Sunni Muslims, who are a majority in Syria.
At least 100,000 Syrians have been killed in the country's civil war, now in its third year.
Turkish pilot and 9 Lebanese s arrive home after kidnapping
ISTANBUL (AP) -- Two Turkish Airlines pilots held hostage in Lebanon by militants since August have returned home.
Turkish television channels showed live images Saturday night of pilots Murat Akpinar and Murat Agca arriving at an airport in Istanbul. They arrived on a Qatar Executive private jet.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials greeted the pilots on the tarmac.
The two were freed as part of a deal that saw nine Shiite pilgrims from Lebanon freed from captivity in Syria.
It's unclear if the third part of the deal has been executed, which calls for the release several dozen women held in Syrian government jails. That was a key demand of Syrian rebels who were holding the Lebanese pilgrims.
Egypt asks Libya to free drivers held by militia
CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's foreign ministry says it has asked Libya to secure the release of dozens of Egyptian drivers held there by an armed militia.
Badr Abdel-Atti, a foreign ministry spokesman, said Saturday it was not clear how many Egyptians were captured when fighters stopped more than 70 vehicles earlier this week in the northern Libyan city of Ajdabiya.
Libyan security officials said about 200 Egyptian drivers were detained by the armed militia, which demands the release of their relatives arrested in Egypt on accusations of arms smuggling.
Armed militias have increased in number and force after dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed in 2011. In the aftermath, Libyan weapons have flooded Egypt while authorities struggle to contain a low-level insurgency.
Car bomb hits military compound in Egypt
EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) -- Egyptian security officials say a car bomb has detonated near a military intelligence compound in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, wounding four soldiers.
Ismailia borders the restive Sinai Peninsula, where the military is on the offensive against insurgents who frequently target Egypt's security forces and facilities.
In recent months the militants have expanded the scope of attacks, carrying out bombings in the Suez Canal area and even Cairo.
The Saturday blast attack in Ismailia came on the first work day after a major Muslim holiday. The officials said part of the military intelligence compound's wall collapsed and a building nearby was damaged.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to brief the media.
Mubarak trial resumes in Egypt behind closed doors
CAIRO (AP) -- Egyptian state media say top security officials are testifying behind closed doors in the retrial of ex-president Hosni Mubarak, who faces charges related to the killings of around 900 protesters during the 2011 uprising that led to his ouster.
The 85-year-old former autocrat was previously convicted of failing to stop the killings, but that was overturned on appeals earlier this year.
The state-owned Nile TV says two security officials, including former intelligence chief Murad Muwafi, took the stand in the Saturday court session.
The presiding judge previously ordered that testimony of security officials take place under a media blackout for reasons of national security.
In addition to Mubarak, six top police officials and the former interior minister, who oversaw Egypt's feared police for more than a decade, are on trial.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood facing wave of trials
CAIRO (AP) -- The next phase in Egypt's wide-scale crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood since the military's July ouster of President Mohammed Morsi is expected to be a massive wave of trials.
A large number of senior leaders could go to jail, some for life. Charges include inciting violence and terrorism. Morsi is scheduled for trial next month.
Leaders may also be charged with fomenting violence in post-coup protests by Morsi's Islamist supporters demanding his reinstatement. Security forces have cracked down heavily on the protests and have killed hundreds of Morsi backers.
From nine to more than a dozen cases so far are being put together, each with multiple defendants, according to a prosecution official and Brotherhood lawyers. One rights lawyer predicts around 200 Brotherhood leaders and senior officials could eventually end up in court.
Car bomb kills 3 in Iraqi capital
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraqi authorities say a car bomb on a commercial street in northern Baghdad has killed three people.
Police officials say 11 others were wounded in the Saturday morning blast in the capital's Qahira neighborhood. Shops and cars were damaged.
Health officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information to reporters.
Violence escalated sharply in late April following a deadly crackdown by security forces on a camp for Sunni protesters in the northern town of Hawija. At least 365 people have died in attacks so far this month, according to an Associated Press count.
Australian authorities fear worsening wildfires
SYDNEY (AP) -- Some of the most destructive wildfires ever have hit Australia's most populous state and firefighters are bracing for things to get even worse today.
It's supposed to get hot and winds are expected to kick up, intensifying the danger in the coming days in New South Wales state. Arson investigators are examining the origins of several fires. One person has died and hundreds of homes are destroyed or damaged.
The damage toll announced today is more than double the count from yesterday. It's expected to continue to rise as assessment teams and police move deeper into the destruction zone. Authorities say 68 fires are still burning with 22 out of control.
Around 1,500 firefighters have been back burning to contain blazes. Several roads in fire-affected areas north, west and south of Sydney have been closed.