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World news briefs — compiled Aug. 28

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MEXICO

Strike prolongs gridlock

A teachers strike has brought Mexico City — population 22 million — to its knees. Some 10,000 educators protesting a government reform program have in the span of a week disrupted international air travel, forced the cancellation of two major soccer matches, rerouted the planned route of the marathon and jammed up already traffic-choked freeways. Taxi drivers are so desperate they are refusing fares to certain frequently blocked parts of the city, and residents have turned to urban survival skills — driving the wrong way down streets, using rental bikes, clambering over fences and piling into the back of police pickups to get to their destinations.

PANAMA

U.S. woman’s bones ID’d

Panamanian officials say they have identified the skeletal remains of a California woman who disappeared in 2011 in Panama after arriving in the country with her boyfriend. Prosecutor Vielka Gisela Broce said DNA testing confirmed that the remains found last week on the island province of Bocas del Toro are Yvonne Lee Baldelli, who was last seen there in November 2011. Her family reported her missing the following January. The 42-year-old woman from Laguna Nigel, California, came to Panama with boyfriend Brian Brimager. Panama police say Brimager left Panama for Costa Rica and the United States some 10 days after last being seen with Baldelli.

BRAZIL

Blackout hits eight states

A widespread power outage hit at least eight states in northeastern Brazil on Wednesday, including four cities that will host matches during football’s World Cup next year, authorities said. About two hours after the outage, power was restored to all the state capitals, but smaller cities in the affected area were still without energy, according to the Electric Energy System Operator, which oversees power generation, transmission and distribution. It said in a statement that a fire in a rural part of Piaui state caused several transmission lines to go down, eventually leading to the northeastern region being disconnected from the national grid. The statement didn’t provide details.

Compiled from wire reports.


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