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Nation & world briefs, July 7

Canada

One dead after train derails in Quebec

A train carrying crude oil derailed yesterday in eastern Quebec, sparking several explosions and a blaze that destroyed the center of the town of Lac-Megantic and killed at least one person. An unspecified number of people were reported missing.

Witnesses said the eruptions sent local residents scrambling through the streets under the intense heat of towering fireballs and a red glow that illuminated the night sky.

Quebec provincial police Lt. Michel Brunet confirmed that one person had died. He refused to say how many others might be dead, but said authorities have been told “many” people have been reported missing.

Syria

Opposition group picks new leader

A former Syrian political prisoner with close links to Saudi Arabia was picked yesterday to lead Syria’s main Western-backed opposition group, filling a post long vacant due to divisions among President Bashar Assad’s opponents.

Inside Syria, government troops advanced into rebel-held areas of the central city of Homs, pushing into a heavily contested neighborhood after pummeling it with artillery that drove out opposition fighters, an activist said.

The election of Ahmad al-Jarba as the head of the Syrian National Coalition came during a meeting in Turkey in what was the second attempt in recent months by Assad’s opponents to unify their ranks.

West Virginia

Police kill man who shot two officers

An 84-year-old West Virginia man who shot and injured two deputies was killed by the police yesterday after he emerged from his barricaded house with a weapon, the police said.

The death of John Evans outside his central West Virginia home escalated after a 911 call from a neighbor who told the police Evans threatened him with a firearm over an unspecified dispute, said Sgt. Michael Baylous, a state police spokesman.

When a Nicholas County deputy arrived at Evans’s house, Evans shot him with a shotgun, Baylous said. The second deputy was shot when he responded to the scene.

Both deputies were airlifted to Charleston for treatment of wounds that are not considered life-threatening, Baylous said.

Florida

Dog okay after being trapped under car

South Florida firefighters came to the rescue of a dog that traveled 5 miles while trapped under the hood of a car.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office said firefighters were called Thursday afternoon to Dania Beach, Fla., to free the dog. The animal had been trapped between the car’s axle and steering mechanism.

A sheriff’s office spokesman said the dog suffered no injuries, even though it had been driven roughly 5 miles from Hallandale Beach.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the dog became trapped.

The Associated Press

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