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Trick-or-treat surprise

LONDON -- British police say a man has been charged with a drug offence after children were given bags of cocaine instead of candy during Halloween trick-or-treating.

Greater Manchester Police says officers were called after children in the town of Royton in northwest England reported finding sachets of white powder in their Halloween bags. Tests confirmed that the substance was cocaine.

Police say 23-year-old Donald Junior Green was charged Thursday with possession of drugs. A woman was arrested but released without being charged.

Police say they believe it was an isolated incident and that it appeared that the man's drugs were given to the children accidently. None of the children consumed the cocaine.

Miracle boy, 3, dies

PUEBLO, Colo. -- A boy who survived three years without a brain has died.

Nickolas Coke, of Colorado, was born with only a brain stem, a condition known as anencephaly.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information says most babies born with anencephaly live only a few days. The centre says it occurs in one out of 10,000 births.

Nickolas' grandmother Sherri Kohut told KOAA-TV she believes Nickolas came down with a virus. She said he had difficulty breathing Wednesday and eventually stopped. She said three attempts to revive him failed.

Relatives said Nickolas survived without special medical equipment but required several kinds of medicine.

Kohut said Nickolas taught his family how to love and about the strength of family. She recalls him laughing as he played among pumpkins recently.

Hotel could open... maybe

SEOUL, South Korea -- The 105-storey, pyramid-shaped hotel that has stood over North Korea's capital city like a mountain for more than 20 years just might be on the verge of opening for the first time.

Pyongyang's Ryugyong Hotel will "partially, probably" open in the middle of next year, Reto Wittwer, CEO of international hotel operator Kempinski AG, said Thursday at a forum in Seoul.

Kempinski will manage the hotel, which Wittwer said will open with shops, offices, ballrooms, restaurants and 150 rooms.

The enormous hotel has been a source of fascination and ridicule for the outside world and an oversized embarrassment for North Korea's authoritarian regime.

North Korea began building the Ryugyong in the 1980s but stopped when funding ran out in the 1990s. Exterior construction resumed in 2009.

Various reports in recent years said the hotel was preparing to finally open. In September, a Beijing-based tour agency was allowed to peek inside and released pictures of the bare concrete lobby.

Wittwer said he first saw a picture of the hotel many years ago and thought then that it could eventually make a lot of money.

He said Cairo-based Orascom Telecom is funding the construction. The firm launched a mobile network in North Korea in 2008.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2012 A21

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