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Spanish town: King not welcome

MADRID - A northeastern town has declared the king of Spain an unwelcome person, dealing another blow to the 74-year-old monarch, who has faced scalding criticism for going on an elephant-hunting trip during a severe financial crisis.

The town council of Berga - population 17,160 - in the region of Catalonia approved a symbolic motion proposed by the pro-independence Popular Unity Candidature party, declaring King Juan Carlos "persona non grata," or not welcome. The censure was published on the town's website Saturday after having been approved by vote in the council chamber two days earlier.

The king has faced condemnation after breaking a hip while on a lavish safari in southern Africa at a time when nearly one in four Spaniards was unemployed and the economy entered its second recession in three years.

The accident happened in the early hours of April 13 while the king was on the fourth day of an elephant hunt in Botswana's northern Okavango region, and he was immediately flown home by private jet for emergency hip-replacement surgery.

- AP

Syrian car-wash bombing kills five

BEIRUT, Lebanon - A bomb struck a car wash Saturday in Aleppo, killing at least five people, a day after government troops opened fire to break up large protests against a violent university raid in Syria's largest city.

Aleppo, an important economic hub, has largely stayed out of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad that erupted nearly 14 months ago, but the raid on Aleppo University that killed four students earlier in the week has swelled the crowds of protesters.

On Friday, thousands marched against the university crackdown in what activists said were the largest protests in the city yet. Bomb attacks have become more common in Aleppo and the capital of Damascus, often targeting buildings associated with the security services.

- AP

2 elephants shot after killing man

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Wildlife authorities said rangers shot and killed two marauding elephants after a man was trampled and gored to death in the country's northeast.

State radio reported Saturday the man died late Friday when a herd of about 19 elephants roamed into a village farming district near the Mozambique border.

The report said wildlife authorities warned villagers not to confront with "provocative actions" elephants stomping through their fields. Elephant attacks are common in areas in Zimbabwe where impoverished human settlements encroach on wildlife sanctuaries. - AP

Peru fire kills 14 at rehab center

CHOSICA, Peru - A predawn fire swept through a drug rehab center in a town on Lima's outskirts Saturday, killing 14 people in the second blaze in Peru this year to claim the lives of addicts trapped behind locked doors in a private treatment residence.

The only known survivor of the blaze at the Sacred Heart of Jesus clinic escaped by jumping from the second floor, his brother said.

Rescue efforts were complicated by locked doors and barred windows, fire chief Fernando Campos said.

- AP