two companies bid to take over Hostess brands
The makers of Thomas' English muffins and Tastykake snacks are emerging as two of the bidders for Wonder Bread and other brands being sold by Hostess under bankruptcy-court oversight, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. It said Hostess Brands Inc. could reveal as early as this week that Flowers Foods Inc. and Grupo Bimbo SAB are in discussions to acquire the brands, which also include Nature's Pride. The report said the brands could command $350 million. Grupo Bimbo's brands include Arnold breads, Thomas' English muffins and Entenmann's cakes. Flowers Foods Inc.'s brands include Nature's Own breads and Tastykake snacks. Hostess sells Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, along with Dolly Madison cakes, which includes Coffee Cakes and Zingers. Hostess also sells Devil Dogs, Funny Bones and Yodels under the Drake's brand. Hostess, which is based in Irving, Texas, announced in November that it was shutting down its business and selling its bread, snacks and cakes brands along with its 33 bakeries.
Oldest U.S. citizen, she dies at age 114
A 114-year-old South Carolina woman who was the oldest living U.S. citizen has died, two of her daughters said Saturday. Mamie Rearden of Edgefield, who held the title as the country's oldest person for about two weeks, died Wednesday at a hospital in Augusta, Ga., said Sara Rearden of Burtonsville, Md., and Janie Ruth Osborne of Edgefield. They said their mother broke her hip after a fall about three weeks ago. Gerontology Research Group, which verifies age information for Guinness World Records, listed Mamie Rearden as the oldest living American after last month's passing of 115-year-old Dina Manfredini of Iowa.
Demilitarized zone planned for border
The presidents of Sudan and South Sudan agreed on Saturday to set up a demilitarized zone along their disputed border, said an African Union mediator and Sudan's state news agency. Presidents Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and Salva Kiir of South Sudan agreed in September to withdraw their armies from the border area between their countries, but neither side has done so. On Saturday, at a meeting arranged by the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the two leaders agreed to carry out the terms of the September accord on issues related to borders, security and oil, according to the official Sudanese news agency and the African Union mediator.
Violence continues in flag dispute
Northern Ireland police used water cannons to fend off brick-hurling protesters in Belfast on Saturday as violent demonstrations over flying the British flag stretched into a third straight day. Protesters have been out in force — with sometimes violent results — since a Dec. 3 decision by Belfast City Council to stop flying the British flag year-round. Such issues of symbolism frequently inflame sectarian passions in Northern Ireland, where Protestants mainly want to stay in the United Kingdom and Catholics want to unite with the Republic of Ireland.
Algeria: The Algerian newspaper El Watan reported Saturday said the right-hand man to the head of al-Qaida's North African branch was one of seven insurgents killed by the army last week.