30 December 2011

CHILE : 03 Jan. UPDATE: Pinera Claims Wildfires 'Under Control'; One Dead, 100 Homes Destroyed; Israeli Held Called 'Scapegoat'; Student Football Fans Clash With Police After Victory; 140 Arrested.

                                   4TH UPDATE / LINK CHANGE: M.PRESS
     President Pinera claims that 4 of 6 fires in Torres del Paine...are under control.
     Pinera was heavily criticized for his initial slow response to the blazes.
     His popularity is already hovering at historic lows...around 30%.
     AP reports that 48 wildfires...fanned by winds...consumed over 23,000 hectares/57,000 acres of forest...and burned 7% of famous Torres del Paine national park...and other locales.
    An Israeli citizen, 23, has been charged with starting the fire. 
    His relatives claim he is being used as a 'scapegoat.'
    Over 400 tourists were evacuated.  
    One man is reported dead.
    At least 100 homes have been destroyed and over 500 residents evacuated.
    A giant wood panel processing plant has also been destroyed.
    Helicopters and 750 firefighters are battling the blaze.
  TO SEE   :40 Video:
                                       GUARDIAN For 1:06 Clash Video
    Universidad de Chile fans celebrated a football victory by clashing with police...who arrested 140.
    The fans destroyed fencing, threw rocks and bottles and attacked a police bus.