CHINA: Transition of power begins
The Communist Party opened a congress Thursday to usher in younger leaders faced with the challenging tasks of righting a flagging economy and meeting public calls for better government. The weeklong congress starts a carefully choreographed but still fraught power transfer in which President Hu Jintao and most of the senior leadership will begin to relinquish office to a new slate of leaders for the coming decade, headed by the appointed heir, Vice President Xi Jinping. Delegates filed into Beijing's Great Hall of the People and the congress was declared open after the playing of the national anthem. The 2,268 delegates are drawn from the 82 million-member party, but real deal-making is done by a few dozen power brokers behind the scenes, even as China is ever more connected to the world through trade and the Internet.
HAITI: Cholera cases follow Sandy
Port-au-Prince saw a small increase in the number of people infected by cholera after last week's destructive rains from Hurricane Sandy, Doctors Without Borders said. Spokesman Mathieu Fortoul said the group's clinics had about 430 patients Friday. The increase in cases was anticipated. Cholera spreads through water, and Haiti has seen a spike in the number of cases following periods of heavy rainfall. Cholera, an intestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera, has sickened 600,000 people and killed more than 7,500 others in Haiti since it surfaced several months after the devastating 2010 earthquake, health officials say.
GHANA: Building falls on shoppers
A five-story shopping center built earlier this year in Achimota, a bustling suburb of Accra, collapsed Wednesday, killing at least one person and leaving several dozen people trapped in the rubble. Rescue crews used cranes to try to remove debris from the top of the building amid fears that machinery sifting through the wreckage could injure trapped survivors. Officials told The Associated Press the death toll was likely to rise.