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Actor Randy Quaid, wife seek refugee status in Canada

VANCOUVER, Canada

Actor seeks refugee status in Canada

Actor Randy Quaid and his wife told Canada's immigration board Friday they are seeking refuge in Canada because they are being persecuted in the United States. The pair were arrested on Thursday afternoon in a shopping area of an affluent Vancouver neighborhood and are wanted in Santa Barbara, Calif., where they missed a court hearing Monday on felony vandalism charges. They face no charges in Canada.

Evi Quaid begged a Canadian immigration adjudicator not to force them to return, saying on Friday that eight friends, such as actors David Carradine and Heath Ledger, have been "murdered" under mysterious circumstances and she's worried something will happen to her husband next. "We feel our lives are in danger," she said.

PARIS

Strikes hurt travel for French school holidays

Families hoping to get away for France's school holidays faced train delays and gas shortages Saturday as strikes against the government's pension reform stretched into a 12th straight day. French workers and students livid about raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 have wrecked havoc in recent weeks — from shutting down hundreds of high schools to blocking airports and oil refineries. The government was counting on the nearly two-week-long Toussaint fall holiday to deflate protests, but drivers had to queue up at gas stations first. Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo said the shortages had eased but admitted it could take a while to get back to normal.

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras

Tropical storm batters Honduran coast

Tropical Storm Richard gained strength Saturday, lashing the Caribbean coast of Honduras with strong winds and heavy rain that threatened potentially deadly flash floods and landslides. The storm was expected to pass "near or over" Honduras' coast late Saturday and become a hurricane today, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Honduran authorities declared a red, or maximum, alert in four coastal provinces.

NAIROBI, Kenya

Seven fans killed in soccer stampede

Seven fans died in a stampede on Saturday while trying to enter a stadium where a soccer match between two of Kenya's most popular teams was being played, the Kenya Red Cross said. Six people died when they were run over by the crowd outside Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, and one died after being taken to Kenyatta National Hospital, said Red Cross spokesman Titus Mungo'u. Jack Oguda, the CEO of the Kenya Premier League, said a gate was broken by fans forcing their way into the stadium.

Elsewhere

Rome: The European Commission warned Italy on Saturday it may face sanctions if it doesn't remove the 2,400 tons of trash that have piled up in the streets of Naples in the country's latest garbage crisis. Naples and surrounding areas have suffered garbage crises for years, the result of corruption, poor management and infiltration by the local mob.

Czech Republic: The Czech Republic's opposition Social Democrats won control of the Senate for the first time on Saturday, giving them the power to stop sending more Czech troops to Afghanistan and to delay unpopular spending cuts.

Times wires

Actor Randy Quaid, wife seek refugee status in Canada 10/23/10 [Last modified: Sunday, October 24, 2010 12:12am]

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