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March 30, 2013 at 10:20 PM   |   Comments

Eiffel Tower evacuated after bomb threat

PARIS, March 30 (UPI) -- An anonymous bomb threat led authorities to empty the Eiffel Tower in Paris Saturday night.

Voice of America reported French police directed about 1,400 people to leave the popular tourist attraction after a threat was phoned in. The L'Express news website said people were told to leave the tower about 7 p.m. local time, the BBC reported.

The tower was reopened about 2 hours later after a search with sniffer dogs produced no evidence of a bomb, VOA said.

The BBC reported authorities set up a security perimeter around the monument.

The Eiffel Tower has been targeted by threats several times in recent years.


U.S. minesweeper hull removed from reef

MANILA, March 30 (UPI) -- Salvage personnel Saturday removed the final 250-ton section of a U.S. Navy minesweeper's hull from a reef in the Philippines, Navy officials said.

The 1,312-ton USS Guardian ran onto the Tubbataha Reef in January. Efforts to free it failed, forcing its demolition.

"As the hull has been removed, the team is now shifting their effort to collecting minor debris that remains on the reef," Capt. Mark Matthews, supervisor of salvage, said. "We also have a collaborative team from the U.S. and the Philippines beginning to assess the condition of the reef."

The salvage operation also includes removing any potentially harmful materials, including petroleum-based products, human wastewater and other wreckage debris.

"Every salvage operation presents unique challenges," Matthews said. "It has been difficult to extract the Guardian without causing further damage to the reef, but the U.S. Navy and SMIT salvage team, with support from other companies and the government of the Philippines, have really done a superb job. I could not be more proud."

The Navy said in a release on its website that no fuel has leaked since the grounding and all of the approximately 15,000 gallons aboard the ship were safely transferred off it early on.


5 dead, 4 injured in rollover crash

MESQUITE, Nev., March 30 (UPI) -- Five people were killed on a Nevada highway early Saturday after a sport utility vehicle rear-ended a van, causing both vehicles to roll over, police said.

The Nevada Highway Patrol said the crash occurred at about 3 a.m. on Interstate 15 near Mesquite on the Arizona border, KLAS-TV, Las Vegas, reported.

Troopers said the driver of the SUV, a Dodge Durango, may have been drunk when the vehicle struck a Chevy Astrovan from the rear.

Five of the seven people in the Astrovan died in the crash. The other two, and two in the Durango suffered critical injuries.


Chinese president wraps up Africa trip

BRAZZAVILLE, Democratic Republic of Congo, March 30 (UPI) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping ended his first foreign trip since his installation Saturday with a two-day stop in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Xi's visit to the DRC was the first by a Chinese head of state. He held discussions with President Denis Sassou Nguesso on strengthening the economic relationship between the two countries, Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, reported.

Xi's trip began in Russia, where he and President Vladimir Putin held talks March 22. The Chinese president then traveled to Tanzania and South Africa, where he attended a summit meeting Tuesday and Wednesday in Durban of the group of emerging nations known as BRICS -- for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.


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