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Isabel strengthens as it heads west

By Wire services
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 11, 2003

MIAMI - Hurricane Isabel strengthened Wednesday as it churned westward in the Atlantic, and forecasters said its dangerous winds could threaten islands in the northeastern Caribbean by the end of the week.

At 11 p.m. EDT, Isabel's maximum sustained wind speed had increased from 135 mph to 145 mph with higher gusts, making it a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale.

Isabel was at 21.1 N latitude, 52.8 W longitude, or 1,180 miles east of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and was moving west at 10 mph. Forecasters predicted the storm would continue to head west and said it could strengthen slightly today.

Meanwhile, tropical depression 14 became more disorganized Wednesday as it lost its tropical characteristics, and the National Hurricane Center stopped issuing advisories on the storm.

Swedish official badly hurt in stabbing at store

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Sweden's popular foreign minister was stabbed repeatedly Wednesday while shopping in an exclusive department store in Stockholm.

Foreign Minister Anna Lindh was stabbed in the abdomen, chest and arm, and police were searching for a man wearing a camouflage jacket who fled the store.

Doctors early today at the Karolinska Hospital said she was in surgery that began eight hours earlier. They said she suffered extensive damage to her liver and stomach and had internal bleeding.

Swedish politicians rarely use bodyguards. Police said they didn't believe the attack was politically motivated.

Chile honors Marxist target of 1973 coup

SANTIAGO, Chile - Salvador Allende, the Chilean Marxist president deposed in a coup, was honored Wednesday in a ceremony at the palace where his life ended 30 years ago.

"He died defending democracy and the dignity of his post as president," said his daughter Isabel, a writer and speaker of the lower house of Congress.

Wednesday's ceremony was the first official government homage inside the palace since Allende was toppled in a bloody coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

The palace was damaged by fire after the heavy air and ground attack Sep. 11, 1973, when Allende shot himself with a submachine gun presented to him by Cuban leader Fidel Castro, according to a version accepted by Allende's family and associates.

Trade officials meet as farmers protest; 1 dies

CANCUN, Mexico - Negotiators from 146 countries sat down to thorny trade negotiations Wednesday, with rich and poor nations pushing conflicting agendas on agricultural reform.

Thousands of poor farmers, worried that more trade will drive them out of business, clashed with riot police as they tried to storm past barricades blocking the site of the World Trade Organization meeting. One protester died after ceremonially stabbing himself.


ASYLUM FOR RUSSIAN? Boris Berezovsky, a Russian tycoon and former political insider who ran afoul of the Kremlin, said Wednesday that he has been granted political asylum in Britain, a Moscow radio station reported.

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