Congo floods leave thousands homeless
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo
Weeks of flooding and landslides have left thousands homeless in Democratic Republic of Congo's Eastern Kasai province, local officials said on Thursday.
Jean-Marie Mpunga, provincial president of the Congolese Red Cross, said his colleagues had counted around 3,000 homeless people in the provincial capital Mbuji-Mayi, many of them sheltering with neighbours or relatives.
He also said the real figure could be much higher.
Trapped for days
A 19-year-old woman who disappeared was found stuck in an elevator in a suburban Paris housing project for three days, the French press reported yesterday.
The daily Le Figaro described the woman, identified only as Safiatou, as vulnerable because she had "problems of confusion." It said she was found dehydrated but alive on December 22.
According to newspaper and television accounts, Safiatou's father had contacted the building concierge December 19 to say his daughter could be stuck in a broken elevator. No alarm went off and the concierge and a repairman found no one when they checked, Le Figaro reported, citing a source close to the investigation.
The technician began repair work the following day, but did not discover the girl until he heard a soft cry on December 22, Le Figaro reported.
Threat of snowstorm
New Year's travelers jammed the Denver airport, trying to get out of town ahead of a snowstorm that caused flight cancellations and threatened to close runways and gum up the United States' busy holiday travel season for the second time in a week.
Managers at the United States' fifth-busiest airport drew up snowplowing plans, and airlines urged ticket-holders on Thursday to flee Denver early or delay departures until after the storm. United Airlines and Frontier, which together account for 80 percent of traffic at Denver International Airport, canceled 322 flights for Thursday evening and yesterday morning.