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News in brief for July 17

Flash flood at swimming hole kills 8; more people missing

TONTO NATIONAL FOREST, Ariz. (AP) — At least eight people were killed and others were believed missing when floodwaters from a sudden rainstorm barreled through a normally tranquil swimming area in Tonto National Forest where more than 100 people were taking refuge from summer heat, authorities said Sunday. Some of those washed downstream clung to trees until rescuers reached them.

The flash-flooding hit Saturday afternoon at Cold Springs canyon, about 100 miles northeast of Phoenix, and some people were washed several miles downstream.

Disa Alexander was hiking to the swimming area where Ellison Creek and East Verde River converge when the storm hit and the water suddenly surged. She was still about 2 1/2 miles away when she came up on a man holding a baby and clinging to a tree. His wife was nearby, also in a tree.

Alexander and others tried to reach them but couldn’t. Rescuers arrived a short time later.

“We were kinda looking at the water; it was really brown,” she said. “Literally 20 seconds later you just see, like hundreds of gallons of water smacking down and debris and trees getting pulled in. It looked like a really big mudslide.”

The National Weather Service, which had issued a flash flood warning, estimated up to 1.5 inches of rain fell over the area in an hour. The thunderstorm hit about 8 miles upstream along Ellison Creek, which quickly flooded the narrow canyon where the swimmers were.

“They had no warning. They heard a roar, and it was on top of them,” Water Wheel Fire and Medical District Fire Chief Ron Sattelmaier said.

Three bodies were pulled out Saturday and five more Sunday. The deaths include at least one child. Four people rescued by helicopter Saturday were taken to the hospital for hypothermia.

Macron decries France’s Nazi past during Netanyahu visit

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron denounced France’s collaboration in the Holocaust, lashing out Sunday at those who negate or minimize the country’s role in sending tens of thousands of Jews to their deaths.

After he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a Holocaust commemoration, Macron also appealed for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Worried that Netanyahu is backing away from commitment to a two-state solution, Macron assailed Jewish settlement construction as a threat to international hopes for peace.

Commemorating 75 years since a mass roundup of Jews during the darkest chapter of modern French history, Macron insisted that “it was indeed France that organized this.”

“Not a single German” was directly involved, he said, but French police collaborating with the Nazis.

Holocaust survivors recounted wrenching stories at the ceremony at the site of Vel d’Hiv stadium outside Paris, where police herded some 13,000 people on July 16-17, 1942 before they were deported to camps.

More than 4,000 were children. Fewer than 100 survived.

Israel reopens Jerusalem holy site after deadly assault

JERUSALEM (AP) — Hundreds of Muslim worshippers visited a Jerusalem holy site Sunday after Israel reopened the compound following a rare closure in response to a deadly shooting last week that raised concerns about wider unrest.

For the first time in decades, Israel closed the site — known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount — on Friday after three Arab citizens of Israel opened fire from the sacred site with automatic weapons, killing two police officers. The three were later shot dead inside the compound.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that following consultations with security officials the site would be reopened Sunday afternoon with increased security measures that included metal detectors at the entrance gates and additional security cameras.

At midday, Israeli police opened two of the gates to the compound to allow worshippers to enter through the newly erected detectors.

Police said some worshippers refused to go through them and knelt to pray outside instead.

But despite concerns that the new measures could slow movement and spark renewed tensions, police said they appeared to be working fine and that 200 people had already passed through.

 

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