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WORLD IN BRIEF: Hurricane Paula threatens Cancun resorts

Hurricane Paula threatens Cancun resorts

CANCUN, Mexico — A strengthening Hurricane Paula roared toward Mexico’s resort-dotted Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday.

The hurricane smashed homes and forced schools to cancel classes in Honduras early Tuesday, then grew into a Category 2 storm with top sustained winds of 100 miles per hour on it way to the Yucatan, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Moving north-northwest at near 10 mph, Paula’s center was pass just to the east of Cancun this morning, and could near Category 3 strength by then, according to the Hurricane Center.

8 feared dead after cargo plane crash

KABUL, Afghanistan — A cargo plane owned by a U.S.-based company crashed into mountains east of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Tuesday, with initial reports saying all eight people aboard were killed, an Afghan airport official said.

The plane was flying from Bagram Air Field, the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan, when it went down east of the capital at about 8 p.m., Kabul Airport Director Mohammad Yaqub Rassuli told The Associated Press.

The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately known.

Egypt jails 11 for stolen Van Gogh

CAIRO — An Egyptian court convicted 11 officials from the Culture Ministry, including the deputy minister, of gross negligence and incompetence in the theft of a Vincent Van Gogh painting that embarrassed the government.

The defendants received sentences of three years in prison and will have to post a bond of $1,800 to stay out of prison until the appeal.

The ‘‘Poppy Flower,’’ valued at $50 million was stolen in broad daylight from Cairo’s Mahmoud Khalil Museum. Subsequent investigations revealed that no alarms and only seven of 43 security cameras were working.

In addition to the poor security, thieves took advantage of the moment when museum guards were praying, to slice the canvas out of its frame with box cutters.

In the course of the trial, Deputy Minister Mohsen Shalaan, and a number of museum officials said they had asked the culture minister for nearly $7 million to upgrade security systems, including at the Mahmoud Khalil Museum, but that only $88,000 was approved.