World Briefs: Foreigners still fleeing Tripoli

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CAIRO -- A British navy ship on Sunday evacuated about 100 British citizens from the Libyan capital, Tripoli, as 25 Libyans were reported killed in the fighting between rival militias that has torn apart the city and destroyed its airport.

The scenes of anxious foreigners fleeing by boat recalled the mayhem at the start of the Libyan uprising under Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, though Tripoli residents say the violence has now become more severe than at any time during the revolt or since.

The battle in the capital is part of a sharp escalation in a national struggle between the allies and opponents of the political Islamist movement. The contest is already dividing the newly elected legislature, set to convene Monday for its first formal session.

Bertha moves out

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands -- Tropical Storm Bertha drifted away from the Turks & Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas on Sunday afternoon, prompting officials to discontinue all storm warnings and coastal watches.

The storm had buffeted parts of the two Caribbean archipelagos with rain and gusty winds after crossing over the Dominican Republic. There were no reports of damage in the drenched Turks & Caicos or the southern Bahamas.

GM seeks new source

BEIJING -- General Motors said Sunday that it had asked its main Chinese supplier to find an alternative source of components after an explosion ripped through a factory a day earlier killing at least 69 people.

Aside from the fatalities, some 200 people were injured in the blast at the Zhongrong Metal Products Co Ltd plant, state-run Xinhua news agency reported Sunday, raising its casualty estimate from overnight.

Distancing itself from Zhongrong, the Detroit automaker issued a statement saying it bought components from a company called "Dicastal" -- which Zhongrong works with.

GM went on to say it had no direct dealings with Zhongrong.

The U.S. automaker noted that Saturday's accident did not cause any immediate impact on its production.

Taiwan probes blast

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Rescuers in Taiwan combed through debris for survivors of a series of explosions that killed at least 28 people as authorities prepared to assess underground pipelines for possible leaks.

Preliminary investigations indicated that seepage from a chemical company's system may have caused the series of blasts in Taiwan's second-biggest city of Kaohsiung.

At least 302 people were injured in the explosions at around midnight Thursday.

Also in the world ...

Saudi Arabia reported 10 confirmed new cases of a deadly respiratory disease during Islam's fasting month of Ramadan, and subsequent Eid al-Fitra holiday, after fears that an influx of pilgrims over the period might spread the infection more widely. ... German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that Israel and at least one other intelligence agency were listening in on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's unsecured phone calls last year when he was holding nearly daily negotiations for peace with various leaders in the Middle East. ... The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan plan to meet this week in a bid to defuse escalating tensions between the two countries after at least 15 soldiers were killed in the worst clashes in two decades.

-- Compiled from news services


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