Irene falls apart, heads toward Canada
NEW YORK, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The remnants of Irene, which wreaked havoc along the U.S. East Coast as a hurricane, moved into Canada Monday, the National Hurricane Center said.
State officials said at least 22 deaths were caused by the storm in the United States.
Irene, now a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, was about 100 miles northwest of Holton, Maine, and moving north-northeast at about 25 mph, the center said in its 5 a.m. EDT advisory.
Warnings for flooding and high winds were in effect for parts of the northern mid-Atlantic states into New England, the center said. What remains of the storm was forecast to move away from the United States and rainfall was expected to subside.
As a tropical storm, Irene left Vermont with massive flooding and power failures, The Burlington Free Press reported.
"It's an extraordinary amount of water for us to obviously absorb and sustain. Stay in, stay safe, stay dry," Gov. Peter Shumlin said during a news conference Sunday. "We expect further flash flooding. We have roads, bridges, culverts washed out. We have communities isolated by high levels of water."
In New York, the mood shifted from worry to relief Sunday as joggers worked out along the East River, restaurants and other businesses reopened and officials at the U.S. Open announced the tennis tournament would start Monday as scheduled, The New York Times reported.
The region could experience snarled transportation for days, the Times reported.
Jose Miranda of Egecat Inc., a California risk management firm, said insurance companies could be on the hook for up to $1.5 billion to $3 billion of the $5 billion to $7 billion in damage caused by Irene, the Los Angeles Times reported. By comparison, Hurricane Katrina caused an estimated $70 billion in insured costs alone.
Yoshihiko Noda to be new Japan PM
TOKYO, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The ruling Democratic Party of Japan Monday elected Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, 54, as president, paving his way to become the next prime minister.
Noda, who will be the sixth prime minister in five years, defeated front-runner Industry Minister Banri Kaieda in a runoff in the party presidential election, Kyodo News reported. The party president normally becomes the prime minister.
Noda will succeed Naoto Kan, incumbent party chief and prime minister, who resigned Friday under criticism of his government's handling of the nuclear crisis and other disasters set off by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Kyodo reported Kaieda, 62, backed by the party's powerful Ichiro Ozawa and his allies, won the votes of 143 of the 398 party lawmakers to Noda's 102 votes in the initial round, forcing a runoff between the two out of the total of five contenders.
In the runoff, Noda, finance minister since June of last year, won 215 votes to Kaieda's 177, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Journal said Noda is seen as a steady fiscal conservative.
Maoist chosen new Nepal PM
KATHMANDU, Nepal, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The Nepalese Parliament, where no political party has a majority, elected a Maoist as prime minister after the parties failed to form a consensus government.
Babuarm Bhattarai, 57, who holds a doctorate degree from New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, is vice chairman of the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), which led a decade-long rebellion before agreeing to a peace process in 2006. His party, led by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, holds the largest number of seats in Parliament without a majority.
Bhattarai defeated his nearest rival, Ram Chandra Poudel of Nepali Congress Party by 340 to 235 votes, Nepalnews.com reported.
Bhattarai's party holds 237 seats in the 595-member Constituent Assembly.
8 injured in Tel Aviv terror attack
TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A knife-wielding attacker rammed a car into a roadblock near a Tel Aviv, Israel, nightclub before dawn Monday, injuring at least eight Israelis, police said.
Some of the victims were stabbed, others hit by the car, investigators said. Two people were reported in serious condition.
Hundreds of teenagers had been attending an end-of-summer party at the club near the roadblock.
Police identified the attacker as a 20-year-old man from the West Bank town of Nablus who told them he planned to attack people in the club but was thwarted by the roadblock, Israel Radio said.
The man had flagged down a taxi near Jaffa and attacked the driver, stabbing him in the hand before forcing him out of the vehicle, the radio report said.
He then drove the taxi toward the nightclub and rammed the car into the roadblock, running over and injuring a border policeman and some civilians. Police said he then got out of the car screaming Allah akbar (God is Great) and attacked police officers and a security guard with a knife before he was overpowered and arrested, the report said.