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Fire at wedding kills 45 in India

Panicked guests tried to fight their way through flames and stampeded down a narrow hallway after fire struck a makeshift wedding hall Friday in southern India, killing 45 people _ including the groom.

The bride, one of about 60 people injured, was hospitalized in serious condition.

The early morning fire occurred in Srirangam, a famous Hindu temple town 200 miles south of Madras, the capital of southern Tamil Nadu state.

Police speculated that an electrical fault ignited the thatch roof of a pavilion set up for the party on the terrace of a one-story building. The fire spread quickly.

Wedding guest S. Rangayyan, who was standing near the exit, described screaming guests trying to get to the building's sole stairwell, which was only wide enough for one person to go down at a time.

"Old people, women and children could not force their way out," he said.

Libya gives inspectors nuclear weapon drawing

VIENNA, Austria _ Libya gave U.N. inspectors drawings of a nuclear weapon, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday, the clearest sign that Libya was at some point serious about building such arms.

"We have put those drawings under our seal, and they are secure," said Mark Gwozdecky of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency.

Agency inspectors are in Libya, along with a separate team of U.S. and British experts to take inventory of its nuclear arms program, part of plans to scrap the weapons of mass destruction the country admitted possessing last month.

Van Gogh letter refers

to family tragedy

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands _ A recently discovered letter by Vincent van Gogh on display for the first time speaks of a tiny grave and his father's grief over the loss of his first child _ a boy also named Vincent who was stillborn.

The letter, the first authenticated one by van Gogh to surface since 1990, is the only known reference by the artist to the family tragedy, said Leo Jansen, a researcher at the Van Gogh Museum, which added the letter to its exhibition on Thursday.

He and other experts say its passionless tone contradicts theories by some biographers that van Gogh might have suffered from alienation as a "replacement child."

The letter was a condolence letter to Hermanus Gijsbertus Tersteeg. Tersteeg's wife gave the letter to a little girl who collected autographs. The current owner, whom the museum declined to name, is the grandson of that early autograph hunter.

Brazil's Cabinet shuffled

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil _ President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reshuffled his Cabinet on Friday ahead of a battle over reforms in Brazil that is being closely watched across the Americas.

Da Silva gave two important government ministries to members of the centrist Brazilian Democratic Movement Party and fired his education minister. Earlier in the week, he fired the head of his much-publicized Zero Hunger campaign.

The shakeup came at the end of da Silva's first year in office, which the former labor leader and avowed leftist had spent shoring up Brazil's economy and calming investors concerned by his ideological bent. Now da Silva, loved by and indebted to Brazil's poor, is under pressure to show them results on the social welfare front.

Elsewhere . . .

POPE HONORED: Pope John Paul II is being honored with a special edition of the prestigious International Charlemagne Prize for his contribution to European unity.

The 83-year-old pontiff follows British World War II leader Winston Churchill, former President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair in winning the prize, awarded annually since 1950 by the German city of Aachen.