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World Briefing - 2002-11-06

Plane crash in heavy fog in Luxembourg has killed 16 people and injured six others. Authorities say the plane, flying from Berlin, was attempting to land when it went down several kilometers from the Luxembourg airport. The cause of the crash has yet to be determined.

A fire aboard a passenger train in eastern France has killed at least 12 people and left nine others injured. French railway officials say the early morning fire began in a sleeping car near the front of the train. There were about 150 passengers on the train, which makes an overnight trip from Paris to the Austrian capital, Vienna.

Chechen separatists have shot down a Russian military helicopter near Chechnya’s capital, Grozny, killing nine soldiers on board. Sunday’s attack was the second downing of a Russian military helicopter in Chechnya in less than a week. The attack came shortly after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov announced he was suspending the withdrawal of troops in the breakaway republic.

Ivory Coast rebels and government negotiators have resumed peace talks in Togo aimed at ending a six-week rebellion. The rebels are demanding the resignation of President Laurent Gbagbo and new elections.

A mass funeral was held on Sunday in Italy for the 29 victims of the deadly earthquake that struck a small village last week. Twenty-six of the victims were children who were killed when their school was destroyed. At the Vatican, Pope John Paul II sent his condolences to the small farming community.

One of the most powerful earthquakes in U.S. history has struck a sparsely populated area of central Alaska, triggering an automatic shutdown of the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline. Only one minor injury has been reported. Officials say Sunday’s earthquake measured 7.9 on the Richter scale.

And finally, child stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint were greeted by crowds of screaming fans at the world premiere of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” in London. Other stars of the film turned out for the event. Director Chris Columbus dedicated the screening to actor Richard Harris, who died last week. The film opens in wide release on November 15th.