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Archive for Monday, December 29, 2003

Briefly

December 29, 2003

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Utah

Snowboarder found buried in avalanche

Search crews on Sunday found the body of one of three snowboarders buried under a huge avalanche, after two days of digging and probing through snow piled up dozens of feet deep in spots.

Mike Hebert, 19, of Orem, was found in 4 feet of snow in Provo Canyon. He was identified by his driver's license and cell phone, which were with the body when a searcher probing the snow with a pole found it late Sunday afternoon, Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy said.

Hopeful that the other snowboarders in Friday's avalanche were nearby, searchers worked after dark Sunday in hopes of finding Hebert's friends Adam Merz, 18, and Rod Newberry, 20. Authorities said a storm expected to dump more than a foot of snow would prevent the search from resuming today.

London

Britain considers air marshals for flights

Responding to a heightened terrorism alert in the United States, Britain said Sunday it had tightened security for trans-Atlantic flights and suggested it might put armed sky marshals on some planes, following the lead of allies like the United States and Israel.

While the statement is the first confirmation that Britain has stepped up security in response to the Code Orange alert in America, it stopped short of saying sky marshals would definitely be used.

"The last few days have seen the United States increase their general threat and security levels, and what we are proposing is a proportionate and appropriate level of response at a time when the threat to both our countries and around the world remains real and serious," Home Secretary David Blunkett, Britain's top law enforcement official, said in a statement.

Guatemala City

Conservative leads presidential runoff

A pro-business former mayor of the Guatemalan capital was leading a center-left engineer who billed himself as the candidate of the poor late Sunday in a presidential run-off election marred by low voter turnout.

With 71 percent of the votes counted, conservative Oscar Berger had 56 percent, compared to 44 percent for his opponent, Alvaro Colom. Berger served as mayor of Guatemala City from 1990 until 1999 and won 29 percent more votes in the capital than his opponent, according to results released by the election commission.

Berger declared himself the race's winner even before early results were released, inviting his opponent to join his administration-to-be. Colom refused to concede the election, however, saying he would wait for more votes to be counted.

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