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  |   Jan. 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM
Gunman, 3 others dead in Aurora, Colo.

AURORA, Colo., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A man believed to have killed three people in an Aurora, Colo., townhouse died by gunfire after holding police off for several hours Saturday, officials said.

Police had not said by Saturday afternoon whether the man was killed by police or took his own life, The Denver Post reported.

The standoff began after a woman escaped from the house just before 3 a.m. MST and called for help, saying she had seen three "lifeless" bodies, Aurora police spokeswoman Cassidee Carlson said.

Aurora was the scene of one of the most notorious recent mass shootings in July when 12 people were killed at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."

The gunman in Saturday's shooting fired at an armored vehicle dispatched to the neighborhood. Police evacuated residents of nearby homes.

"I was brutally awakened. I've never been so scared in my life," Michael Ignace, who lives in another unit in the building where the shootings occurred, told the Post.

The gunman could be heard moving furniture against the doors of the townhouse, Carlson said. He answered the telephone several times as police tried to negotiate with him but said nothing intelligible.

"He was not making sense," Carlson said.

Police said they found the bodies of two men and a woman as well as the man believed to have killed them.

The names of the gunman and the victims were not released but Carlson said they may all have been related.


Cold wave death toll hits 129 in India

NEW DELHI, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A cold wave that sent temperatures dangerously low in northern India is being blamed for at least 129 deaths, authorities said.

Officials said the total included 13 deaths in Uttar Predesh, five in Punjab and two in Haryana in the previous 24 hours, as temperatures dropped to as low as 3 degrees Fahrenheit in Kargil a day after nearby Leh recorded 3.2 degrees, the Indian TV channel Sahara Samay reported Saturday.

Other lows included 37 degrees in the capital Delhi and 24 degrees in Srinagar.

Forecasters said the below-normal temperatures were not expected to moderate before Monday.

Sahara Samay said the cold wave was extremely hard on the hundreds of thousands of homeless people in the region.

Thick fog was affecting transportation in the region, with passengers stranded in railway stations - -although Indira Gandhi Airport was largely unaffected, with only a handful of flights delayed or canceled.


Ships trapped in ice in northeast China

BEIJING, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Ships were icebound in northeast China Saturday, where the China Meteorological Administration said temperatures reached a 43-year low.

The recorded low was just under 5 degrees Fahrenheit, China Daily reported.

In Laizhou Bay, where the Yellow River meets the sea, more than 1,000 ships were frozen into coastal sea ice, the newspaper said.

Since late November, China has been enduring one of its chilliest winters in almost 30 years, the CMA said. The average temperature has been 25 degrees, 7 degrees below freezing.

The CMA said temperatures are expected to rise in the north over the next few days. But the forecast in southern China is for rain, freezing rain and snow in various combinations.

Bad weather has already made many highway difficult.

Yao Xuefeng, a truck driver, was stuck in a massive traffic jam in Jiangxi province in the southeast after a crash.

"I didn't expect such a situation, so I've brought no warm coats or food. All I can do now is wait," Yao told China Daily.


Mexican officials mull legalizing pot

MEXICO CITY, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Some Mexican officials say the country should legalize marijuana, arguing it would take a big chunk of business away from drug cartels.

President Enrique Pena Nieta has hinted he might accept a change in the law, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. Pena, in an interview with CNN, said referendums that legalized recreational pot smoking in Colorado and Washington state "could bring us to rethinking the strategy."

Fernando Belaunzaran, a member of Congress representing the left-wing Democratic Revolution Party, has introduced a bill to legalize marijuana.

He says without marijuana income, believed to be between one-fifth and one-quarter of their total, cartels would be not be able to buy as much deadly weaponry.

"It's a matter of life or death," Belaunzaran said at a news conference. "And after 60,000 deceased no one can say that it isn't essential to Mexicans' lives."

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera has called for a discussion of legalization. In Colima state, Gov. Mario Anguiano has suggested a vote.

Marijuana has been illegal in Mexico since 1920, longer than it has in the United States. Polls show a majority of Mexicans want marijuana to stay illegal, while 50 percent in the United States support legalization.

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