The World in Brief

Landslide topples buildings in China

BEIJING — Hundreds of police, firefighters and medical personnel joined rescue efforts Saturday after a landslide in northern China knocked down several buildings, killing seven people and leaving 13 others missing.

The landslide hit Xiangning county in Shanxi province Friday evening, provincial authorities said. Two buildings housing 14 households and a public bathhouse collapsed under the weight of the falling earth.

State broadcaster CCTV said seven people were confirmed dead as of Saturday afternoon. It said 20 others had been rescued from the debris and 13 remained missing.

CCTV showed high piles of crumpled walls and roofs on the side of a slope. Some buildings remained intact, while others were reduced to rubble.

Six-hundred police and medical personnel were helping with the rescue effort, the Shanxi government said.

France takes in 5 kids of ISIS fighters

PARIS — France has repatriated five children of French-born Islamist extremists who had left to join the Islamic State group.

The announcement, made late Friday by the Foreign Ministry, followed weeks of controversy over the prospect of allowing French-born fighters to return to France to stand trial.

France suffered the brunt of Europe’s recent struggles with terrorist violence either orchestrated or inspired by Islamic State militants, with more than 230 people killed in attacks since 2015.

France’s interior minister, Laurent Nunez, had said Wednesday that no children would be admitted “for the moment.” That same day, President Emmanuel Macron reiterated the government’s position that children would be admitted on a “case-by-case basis,” in conjunction with the opinion of international humanitarian workers.

By Friday, however, the first group of children had been selected. “The decision was taken in view of the situation of these very young and especially vulnerable children,” read a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

The statement noted that the unaccompanied children in question are “under individual medical and psychological supervision” and “were handed over to the judicial authorities.” Their family members in France also were contacted, the statement confirmed.

Death of model investigated in Italy

ROME — Italian prosecutors have opened an investigation into the possible poisoning death of a Moroccan model who was a key witness in the trial against former Premier Silvio Berlusconi over his infamous “bunga bunga” parties.

Imane Fadil, 34, died March 1 at a Milan-area hospital, where she had been treated since Jan. 29 for exhibiting “symptoms of poisoning,” Milan prosecutor Francesco Greco said, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

Fadil had told reporters in 2012 that she feared for her safety after telling prosecutors investigating possible witness tampering in the case that she was offered money in exchange for her silence about what went on at Berlusconi’s parties.

Berlusconi was initially convicted of charges related to paying for sex with an underage woman at the parties, and using his influence to cover it up. He ultimately was acquitted by Italy’s highest court in 2015.

Late last year, lawyers for one of Berlusconi’s co-defendants in the witness-tampering trial began negotiations to settle the women’s claims, ANSA reported at the time. But by January, the Milan court had thrown out their claims altogether. Two weeks later, Fadil was hospitalized.

News reports said that before Fadil lost consciousness, she told her lawyer and family that she feared she had been poisoned.

In a statement reported by ANSA, Humanitas hospital in Rozzano said that Fadil’s medical charts were seized by the authorities as soon as she died. The hospital said it provided the results of her toxicological exams to prosecutors when they were completed March 6.

The Pavia lab that conducted the toxicology tests said in a statement Saturday that it had been asked by the hospital to analyze metals in Fadil’s blood, but stressed that the lab doesn’t measure radioactivity.

Election results spark Congo protests

KINSHASA, Congo — Witnesses say that at least one person is dead after protests over elections turned violent in Congo.

Members of President Felix Tshisekedi’s Union for Democracy and Social Progress took to the streets in the capital, Kinshasa, and in other parts of the country after the party failed to win any Senate seats from Kinshasa in the regional assembly. Police fired tear gas to quell demonstrations Friday night.

The governor of Kasai-Oriental province confirmed one death there.

The party has been Congo’s longtime opposition under former President Joseph Kabila. The party got a boost when Tshisekedi won the December presidential election.

Militants of Tshisekedi’s party also attacked the headquarters of Kabila’s party in the capital.

While voters elect regional deputies, senators are then chosen by the deputies. Militant members of the party are accused of attacking homes and vehicles belonging to some of the regional deputies who chose the senators.

— Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

A Section on 03/17/2019