Divers find 12th body in stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia

ITALY

Divers find 12th body in stricken ship

The body of a woman wearing a life vest was recovered by Italian coast guard divers Saturday from a narrow underwater corridor of the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia, raising the death toll to 12. The week-old accident has also sent some light fuel spilling into the Mediterranean off Tuscany.

Coast Guard Cmdr. Cosimo Nicastro told the Associated Press that the victim was found during a risky inspection of an evacuation staging point at the ship's rear. The woman's nationality and identity were not immediately known. Before the corpse was found, 21 people were listed as missing. One of the women on the list is a Peruvian crew member, the others are passengers. The Concordia hit a reef and ran aground Jan. 13.

ABOARD THE USS ENTERPRISE

U.S. aircraft carrier heads for Persian Gulf

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told sailors aboard the country's oldest aircraft carrier that the U.S. is committed to maintaining a fleet of 11 of the formidable warships despite budget pressures, in part to project sea power against Iran. Panetta also told the crowd of 1,700 gathered in the hangar bay of the USS Enterprise that the ship is heading to the Persian Gulf region and will steam through the Strait of Hormuz in a direct message to Tehran. Iran has warned it will block the strait, a major transit point for global oil supplies, and bluntly told the U.S. not to send carriers into the gulf. The U.S. has said it would continue to deploy ships there.

iraq

Gunmen kill four Iraqi security officers

Gunmen killed four Iraqi security officials in a series of shootings Saturday, officials said. Two soldiers were killed when assailants fired on an Iraqi military patrol in the former al-Qaida stronghold of Fallujah, according to police officials in the city some 40 miles west of Baghdad. Another attack took place in the mainly Sunni town of Hawija, 150 miles north of Baghdad, when gunmen opened fire on the house of a senior police officer, killing one of his guards. A second police officer was killed in Baghdad Saturday in a drive-by shooting.

FRANCE

Turks denounce French genocide bill

Thousands of Turks from across Europe marched through the French capital Saturday, denouncing a bill that would make it a crime to deny that the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago was genocide. Waving their country's red flag, or wrapped in it, the Turks marched to the Senate, where the bill will be debated Monday after passage in December in the lower house. The measure would make it a crime to deny that mass killings of Armenians in 1915 by Ottoman Turks constitute genocide. Critics claim the real aim of the bill is to ensure votes for President Nicolas Sarkozy from French Armenians in the two-round presidential elections in April and May. An estimated 500,000 Armenians live in France.

RENO, Nev.

Fire that claimed 29 homes is contained

As rain helped crews surround a brush fire that destroyed 29 homes and forced thousands to flee, the family of the blaze's only known fatality said Saturday that prosecuting the man who admitted to starting it wouldn't "do any good." June Hargis, 93, was found dead in a studio apartment next to her daughter's home in Washoe Valley, where the fire started Thursday. Sheriff Mike Haley said her cause of death has not been established, so it's not known if it was fire related. Hargis' son, Jim Blueberg, 68, said, "The man had the courage to come up and say he did this. He's remorseful. I think he's punished himself enough."

Elsewhere

Guatemala: Former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, who ruled Guatemala from 1982 to 1983, must appear in criminal court in a genocide case involving crimes against indigenous Guatemalans during his rule, a federal prosecutor said Saturday.

Sudan: A peacekeeper was shot dead Saturday in an ambush in eastern Darfur, the U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission said. Three peacekeepers were also wounded in the attack on a patrol unit.

Mexico: A magnitude-6.2 earthquake that hit off the coast of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas on Saturday was felt as far away as El Salvador but brought no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Romania: About 500 Romanians endured snowy weather to protest for the ninth day against President Traian Basescu and the government, calling for their resignation.

Times wires

Divers find 12th body in stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia 01/21/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 21, 2012 10:18pm]

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