World news briefs – Oct. 27

Array

NATO delays decision on Libya mission

BRUSSELS, Belgium — NATO unexpectedly postponed a definite decision to end its bombing campaign in Libya as consultations continued Wednesday with the U.N. and the country’s interim government over how and when to wind down the operation.

Last week, the alliance announced preliminary plans to phase out its mission on Oct. 31. NATO’s governing body — the North Atlantic Council, or NAC — was expected to formalize that decision Wednesday.

Air patrols have continued in the meantime because some alliance members were concerned that a quick end to NATO’s seven-month operation could lead to a resurgence in violence.

On Wednesday, spokeswoman Carmen Romero said NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was consulting with the United Nations and Libya’s National Transitional Council.


Hurricane Rina on course for Mexico’s resorts

CANCUN, Mexico — Authorities evacuated fishing communities and closed schools on Mexico’s resort-studded Caribbean coast while some tourists began to leave as Hurricane Rina took aim at Cancun and the island of Cozumel on Wednesday.

Hundreds of residents from the fishing town of Punta Allen, south of Tulum, were taken to emergency shelters, a smaller group was evacuated from the atoll of Banco Chinchorro Tuesday, and cruise ships shifted their routes in the face of expected storm surges, waves and heavy rains from Rina.

Rina’s maximum sustained winds remained steady at about 110 mph (175 kph) Wednesday morning, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami, making it a Category 2 storm. Forecasters predicted it could weaken in the next 12 to 24 hours, though it is expected to remain a hurricane as it nears the Mexican coast Wednesday night before rolling over the island of Cozumel, a popular dive spot and cruise-ship port, and the Cancun area.

Luh McDevitt, 56, a furniture and interior designer in Cozumel, said her family was fitting hurricane shutters to the house and securing furniture.

“I am not really scared,” said the Cincinnati, Ohio, native who has lived in Cozumel since 2000. “Hurricane Andrew in 1992 was a Category 5. The worst part of the hurricane is after. We didn’t have electric in our house for three weeks.”


Truck dumps pumpkins on road

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Road workers found themselves plowing pulp after a truck dumped a load of pumpkins on a Detroit-area freeway during the morning commute.

Hundreds of pumpkins were scattered Wednesday across several lanes of traffic on a highway in Farmington Hills.

Many of the pumpkins were pulverized as drivers passed through and WWJ-AM reports snow plows had to be used to clear what remained of pumpkins.

Video from a traffic camera showed motorists slowly making their way through the pre-Halloween mess.

Michigan State Police Sgt. James Kemp tells the Detroit Free Press that one motorist had a smashed windshield, but no injuries were reported.