Russian missile fails another test

MOSCOW - Russia's new sea-based ballistic missile has failed in a test launch for the fifth time, signaling serious trouble with a highly touted key future component of the nation's nuclear forces.

The Bulava "self-destructed and exploded in the air" after a launch from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine beneath the surface of the White Sea, said Navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo. Russian news agencies said yesterday's test was the fifth failure out of 10 launches since 2004.

Russia has been making an aggressive effort to upgrade its missile forces after years of post-Soviet underfunding and a lack of testing.

The Kremlin, which is upset by U.S. plans to deploy a ballistic missile-defense system in Eastern Europe, has hailed its missile as capable of penetrating any prospective missile defenses.

- AP

Mugabe scorns U.S. and Britain

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said yesterday the United States and Britain are "stupid" to think he shouldn't be part of a unity government.

President Bush's top diplomat for Africa, Jendayi Frazer, said over the weekend that Washington can no longer support a power-sharing proposal that leaves Mugabe president, and Britain's Africa minister backed the U.S. stance on Monday.

"We are not going to listen to what Bush and [British Prime Minister] Gordon Brown are saying," Mugabe said. "We do realize that these are the last kicks of a dying horse," the 84-year-old Mugabe said at a funeral for a retired army general who had fought British rule in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe has ruled the country since its 1980 independence from Britain and refused to leave office following disputed elections in March and despite a humanitarian crisis in his country.

- AP

Woman survives 3 days in snow

HAMILTON, Ontario - A Canadian woman who went missing in a blizzard has been found alive, buried in 23 inches of snow, three days after her SUV got stuck in a snowy field.

A police search dog and its handler were trudging through knee-high snow on Monday when the dog took off across a field, signaling he had found Donna Molnar, who disappeared Friday.

Overnight temperatures dipped as low as 2 degrees during the four days the 55-year-old Ancaster, Ontario, woman was missing. "When I came up to her, she was covered in snow - just her face and her neckline was exposed," said the handler, Ray Lau. Molnar, found close to her SUV, was wearing a winter jacket.

Police credited the snow's insulating effect with keeping her alive. Staff Sgt. Mark Cox said she could lose some extremities to frostbite, though she is expected to survive.

- AP

Elsewhere:

In Singapore, fire broke out

in the control room of the world's largest Ferris wheel yesterday, trapping 173 people hundreds of feet above the ground for hours and forcing rescuers to lower 10 passengers to safety by rope.