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WORLD BRIEFS


ARGENTINA: Torrential rains, floods kill 52

At least 52 people drowned in their homes and cars, were electrocuted or died in other accidents as flooding from days of torrential rains swamped the low-lying capital and province of Buenos Aires. At least 46 died Wednesday in and around the city of La Plata, Gov. Daniel Scioli said. Six deaths were reported a day earlier in the capital. People climbed onto their roofs in the pouring rain after storm sewers backed up. Water surged up through drains in their kitchen and bathroom floors, and poured in over their windowsills. "It started to rain really hard in the evening, and began to flood," said Augustina Garcia Orsi, 25, a student. "I panicked. In two seconds, I was up to my knees in water." The country's largest refinery was flooded, causing a fire that took hours to put out. The La Plata refinery suspended operations, and the YPF oil company said an emergency team was evaluating how to get it restarted.


SPAIN: Princess accused of corruption

Princess Cristina, daughter of King Juan Carlos, was charged on Wednesday with being an accomplice in an embezzlement case against her husband, the latest high-level graft investigation to anger Spaniards suffering a severe recession. Examining Magistrate Jose Castro ordered the princess, 47, to appear before him on April 27 to answer charges of complicity in a pretrial investigation that started two years ago. It was the first time a member of the royal family had been the subject of criminal proceedings since Juan Carlos came out of exile in the 1970s to reclaim the throne after the end of the Francisco Franco dictatorship. The princess is accused of having been an accomplice of her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, who has been charged with fraud, tax evasion, falsifying documents and embezzlement of 6 million euros from a charitable foundation.


CHINA: 9 sickened, 3 dead of bird flu

A bird flu appears to have mutated so that it can spread to other animals, raising the potential for a bigger threat to people, Chinese scientists said Wednesday. The H7N9 virus has sickened nine people in China and killed three. It's not clear how they became infected, and there's no evidence that the virus is spreading easily among people.

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