Chile

New national parks created

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed decrees Monday creating vast new national parks using lands donated by a U.S. conservation organization in what is believed to be the largest private donation of land ever from a private entity to a country. The agreement was signed by Bachelet and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, the widow of Doug Tompkins, a founder of the North Face outdoor wear company who accumulated the land before his death. It will create the new Pumalin and Patagonia national parks while expanding others to help create a “Route of Parks.”

Canada

Police search for victims

Toronto police said Monday they are hunting through backyard gardens and planters across the city for possible victims of a landscaper accused of killing at least five people and suspected of more slayings. Bruce McArthur was charged Monday with first-degree murder in the deaths of three men, adding to two cases filed earlier. Toronto Detective Sgt. Hank Idsinga said at a news conference that the dismembered remains of at least three victims were found hidden in the bottom of large planters in the backyard of a Toronto home that McArthur, 66, used as storage for his landscaping business. He said the remains have not been identified.

France

Flooding moves downstream

Floodwaters peaked in Paris on Monday and were threatening towns downstream as the rain-engorged Seine River winds through Normandy toward the English Channel. Swollen rivers have engulfed romantic quays in Paris, swallowed up gardens and roads, halted riverboat cruises — and raised concerns about climate change. The Meteo France weather service said January has seen nearly double normal rainfall nationwide, and the rains in the past two months are the highest measured for the period in 50 years.

Iran

Women take off headscarves

Social media postings Monday showed at least five women in Iran protesting the obligatory Muslim headscarf by taking theirs off and waving them on sticks. The videos and photos showed individual women in separate locations in Tehran and Isfahan. Masoud Sarabi, who witnessed one of the protests, confirmed the authenticity of a video shot on Tehran’s Enghelab Street. The women appear to be following the lead of a 31-year-old protester identified as Vida Movahed, who took off her headscarf on the same street in late December. She was detained for a few weeks and then released.

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires