World news: Syrian opposition names new leader

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BEIRUT -- The main Syrian exile opposition group elected a new president Saturday, the body's latest bid to end months of squabbling and show that it can unite, organize and arm the fighters battling Syria's president, Bashar Assad.

The group's new president, Ahmad Jarba, is a tribal sheik from northeastern Syria and is seen as close to the government of Saudi Arabia. He defeated Mustafa Sabbagh, a businessman viewed as an ally of Qatar, in a close runoff election in Istanbul to lead the group, the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, also known as the Syrian National Coalition.

Quebec oil train explodes

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec -- A train carrying crude oil derailed Saturday 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.

The accident triggered evacuation of 1,000 people from Lac Megantic.

Koreas discuss stand-off

SEOUL, South Korea -- Officials from South and North Korea met on their border Saturday to discuss reopening a jointly operated industrial park and to see whether they were ready to move toward a thaw after months of tensions on the divided Korean Peninsula.

The Kaesong Industrial Zone, just north of the heavily armed border, had been the last and best-known example of economic cooperation between North and South Korea until the North pulled out its 53,000 workers in April. The South responded by withdrawing its factory managers and engineers.

Both Koreas have since locked themselves in a tense standoff that also has become a test of will for the relatively new governments in Pyongyang and Seoul.

Snowden advised to move

MOSCOW -- Venezuela's offer of asylum for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden got a thumbs up from key members of the Russian parliament Saturday, even as the Kremlin and Foreign Ministry kept a studious silence.

"Sanctuary for Snowden in Venezuela would be the best decision," Alexei Pushkov, head of the foreign affairs committee of Russia's lower house of parliament, wrote in a tweet Saturday.

Mr. Pushkov, who reliably reflects the government's position on international issues, voiced what appears to be a growing official desire to see Mr. Snowden leave after 13 days holed up in transit limbo at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. He wrote of Mr. Snowden, "He can't live at Sheremetyevo."

Also in the world ...

Roberto Pannunzi, a fugitive Italian mobster who allegedly arranged major shipments of South American cocaine to Europe each month and was one of the world's most powerful drug brokers, has been captured in a Colombian shopping mall, authorities said Saturday. ... A powerful bomb exploded at a busy market street in eastern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least four people and wounding 47, officials said.

-- Compiled from news services



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