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International Briefs

Flooding kills 150 in NE Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Flash flooding killed 150 people in a remote area in Afghanistan’s mountainous northeastern Nuristan province controlled by the Taliban, a spokesman for the insurgents said Thursday. The provincial government appealed to the Taliban to allow rescue teams into the area to help. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said heavy rains late Wednesday caused the flash flooding. In a statement, Mujahid said the insurgents ordered their own rescue crews to the affected area. He also said the Taliban have also ordered that 5 million Afghanis — or about $62,000 — be spent aiding the clean up and the villagers affected by the flooding. However, it is unclear how equipped the Taliban are to deal with emergencies in areas under their control, which are mostly rural areas.

Slice of Lady Di’s wedding cake for sale

LONDON (AP) — Don’t let them eat this cake. A slice of one of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding cakes is up for auction 40 years after the nuptials watched around the world. The iced slice came from one of the 23 official wedding cakes marking the July 29, 1981 marriage of the heir to the British throne and his shy 20-year-old bride. It features a marzipan base and a sugar onlay coat-of-arms, colored in gold, red, blue, and silver, on top. The piece of cake was given to Moyra Smith, a member of the Queen Mother’s household at Clarence House. Smith kept it in a floral cake tin and with a handmade label on the lid reading: “Handle with Care – Prince Charles & Princess Diane’s (sic) Wedding Cake” which she signed and dated 29/7/81.

Wildfire rages for 2nd day in Lebanon

QOBAYAT, Lebanon (AP) — Lebanese firefighters struggled for the second day on Thursday to contain wildfires in the country’s north that have spread across the border into Syria, civil defense officials in both countries said. The fires killed at least one person, a 15-year-old boy, who was helping firefighting efforts in Lebanon. Lebanon’s civil defense said it deployed 25 firetrucks, supported by four air force helicopters and military units, to put out the blaze. But the fires continued to rage, spreading east, and have already affected large swaths of forest in the mountainous north. Residents posted videos and images of scorched forests, blackened trees and fires on mountaintops, as the blaze closes in on the village of Qobayat. There was no official estimate yet of the area affected. Lebanon’s Red Cross said late Wednesday it had evacuated 17 people and treated more than 30, including eight who have been hospitalized.

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