Germany to close historic airport

BERLIN - Tempelhof Airport, which played a key role in the Berlin airlift after World War II, will close to passengers in 2008, Germany's top administrative court confirmed yesterday.

The court threw out a bid to prevent Tempelhof's closure as part of a plan to expand Schoenefeld airport, a former military airport, into Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport. Tempelhof is scheduled to shut down Oct. 31.

Tempelhof, which opened in 1923, was expanded under the Nazis into a huge, horseshoe-shaped complex. Its massive terminal is one of the most prominent remaining examples of the era's architecture in Berlin. After World War II left the city divided into east and west, Tempelhof became the hub of the U.S.-led Berlin airlift when the Soviets blockaded West Berlin in 1948. It is now used only for short-haul flights.

- AP

Somalia president in Kenya hospital

NAIROBI, Kenya - Somalia's president was hospitalized in the capital of neighboring Kenya yesterday during a time of turmoil in his war-wracked homeland. Officials said he was in stable condition.

Abdullahi Yusuf, 73, was said to be suffering from a severe cold. He has had chronic health problems for years. In 1996, he had a liver transplant. Last year, he survived a suicide car bombing that killed his brother and several other people.

His departure from Somalia came a day after four cabinet ministers resigned, saying they were not adequately represented in the new government that took office last month. And the U.N. World Food Program said the government had closed airports and seaports in the Lower Shabelle region to the United Nations.

- AP

S. African miners march for safety

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Tens of thousands of striking South African miners marched yesterday to draw attention to their safety concerns, adding to pressures on the industry in a country where a miner dies nearly every day.

The world's leading producers of gold and platinum are among mines hit by the one-day strike called by the 270,000-member National Union of Mineworkers.

The union said 40,000 members, some brought in by bus, marched in Johannesburg on the Chamber of Mines, the industry employer's organization, which includes leaders AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold, Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin. Both sides acknowledged in a statement that "there is much to be done to drastically reduce the number of accidents and fatalities on the mines."

- AP

Elsewhere:

More than 1,000

police officers wearing Santa hats have fanned out across the Philippine capital in time for Christmas, traditionally the busiest period for thieves in Manila. Police chief Geary Barias said the force was expanded for the holidays.

A bomb killed six people

and injured 20 in one of the deadliest attacks in recent months in Thailand's insurgency-plagued south.