Europe-Africa talks get heated

LISBON, Portugal - Debates over Zimbabwe and Darfur caused friction yesterday at a summit of European and African leaders attempting to build a new alliance on economic and environmental issues.

The two-day summit in Lisbon drew leaders of the 53-member African Union and 27-nation European Union for their first such meeting in seven years. It was intended to culminate in new agreements today on trade and other issues, but problems arose.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the EU as "united" in condemning Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe for economic mismanagement and failure to curb corruption. And Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir refused to allow non-Africans into a 26,000-strong U.N.-A.U. peacekeeping force planned for Darfur.

- AP

After resurfacing, Briton is charged

REDCAR, England - A British man who disappeared in an apparent canoeing accident and reappeared five years later claiming to have suffered amnesia has been charged with life insurance fraud and lying to get a false passport, police said yesterday.

Police allege ex-prison guard John Darwin masterminded an elaborate fraud to clear his family's debts. He was declared dead after the apparent 2002 accident. Police said he will appear before a court tomorrow.

Detective Sgt. Iain Henderson said officers want to question Darwin's wife, Anne. She told British media that she was in contact with her 57-year-old husband during the five years he was believed to be dead. She is thought be in Miami after leaving her home in Panama.

- AP

Spilled oil taints S. Korean coast

MALLIPO BEACH, South Korea - Thick, smelly crude oil washed up on an 11-mile stretch of scenic coastline yesterday, blackening gulls and threatening fish farms as South Korea's coast guard struggled to contain the country's largest oil spill.

Nearly 2,200 troops, police and residents were engaged in cleanup efforts at Mallipo, one of South Korea's best-known beaches and an important rest stop for migrating birds. Tides of dark seawater crashed ashore, while the odor reached a half-mile away.

The coast guard dispatched 62 ships and five helicopters to battle the spill, estimated at 2.7 million gallons. The area of shoreline affected by had more than doubled by last night, from four miles earlier in the day. The coast guard said it was unclear how long the cleanup would last.

- AP

Elsewhere:

A Peace Corps volunteer was killed in Suriname when she accidentally set off a gun rigged as an animal trap, police said. Blythe Ann O'Sullivan, 25, was shot in the leg Thursday and apparently bled to death before she could get medical treatment, police said.

Three students

were killed and dozens injured when a fire broke out at Al Azhar University in Egypt's Nile Delta. The blaze erupted in a lecture hall, sending hundreds fleeing in panic, police said.