World Briefs: Canada rail blame issued

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OTTAWA — Canadian safety investigators on Tuesday blamed a “weak safety culture” and inadequate government oversight for a crude oil train derailment last year in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people.

In its nearly 200-page report, issued more than 13 months after the deadly crash, Canada’s Transportation Safety Board identified 18 contributing factors.

Among other factors, the investigation found that the train’s sole engineer failed to apply a sufficient number of handbrakes after parking the train on a descending grade several miles from Lac-Megantic, and leaving it unattended for the night.

The engineer applied handbrakes to the train’s five locomotives and two other cars, but investigators concluded that he did not set handbrakes on any of the train’s 72 tank cars loaded with 2 million gallons of Bakken crude oil.

Putin, Ukrainian to meet

DONETSK, Ukraine — Ukrainian government troops were fighting pro-Russian rebels in the streets of Luhansk on Tuesday and captured most of a town near the eastern city of Donetsk, tightening the noose around that key rebel-held stronghold, Ukrainian officials said.

As the fighting raged, the Kremlin announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin would meet his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko next Tuesday in Minsk, Belarus. The two leaders have not met since early June, despite a rapidly climbing death toll in east Ukraine.

U.S. journalist scrutinized

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s attorney general banned a New York Times reporter from leaving the country Tuesday pending an investigation into a controversial story about purported plans by unidentified officials to take power if a political crisis continues.

Matthew Rosenberg, 40, said Tuesday night that he was summoned to the attorney general’s office in the afternoon and asked numerous questions about the story. He said he rejected requests to reveal his sources and was then told to return the next day with a lawyer to face more questions.

China-Russia military drills

MOSCOW — More than 7,000 troops from China, Russia and four Central Asia countries have gathered in Inner Mongolia for their biggest joint drills to fight terrorists.

The exercises are another sign China and Russia are willing to work together as both seek to upgrade their military capacity in the face of rising territorial tensions. The drills will prepare troops to protect the so-called Silk Road economic and transport belt that will run through Central Asia from China to Europe from terrorist attack, China Radio International reported.

Also in the world ...

N. Surendran, a lawyer for the Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, was charged with sedition Tuesday, a move that Mr. Anwar denounced as part of a conspiracy to weaken his appeal of a sodomy conviction and orchestrate his return to prison. ... Iceland’s Civil Protection Agency has registered hundreds of earthquakes since midnight Monday at the site of one of its biggest volcanoes as the island braces itself for a possible eruption.

— Compiled from news services



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