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POSTED September 24, 2012 7:55 p.m.

ZIMBABWE: BULAWAYO URGES ALL TO FLUSH TOGETHER: HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Bulawayo city officials Monday urged all residents to join the "big flush" to help Zimbabwe's second city clear toilet waste that accumulated in sewers during days of water outages.

Bulawayo city spokesperson Nesisa Mpofu asked all residents to flush their toilets simultaneously at 7:30 p.m. (17.30 GMT) twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. She said a new timetable was issued Monday.

She said residents can also flush at other times. Many householders had mistakenly thought they could only flush on Monday and Thursday evenings.

"What kind of country would that be" if toilets were allowed to lie stagnant for days? Mpofu asked.

Mpofu said synchronized flushing will help move waste in the "old and overburdened" sanitation system, worsened by a growing urban population, water shortages and a troubled economy.

"Our sewer system has become vulnerable and we don't have enough water," Mpofu said.

Civic activist groups on Monday however criticized the proposed solution by city authorities as "ridiculous."

Magondonga Mahlangu, a leader of WOZA, an activist organization that champions women's issues and protests against the nation's poor service, told The Associated Press that the council's proposed "big flush" is an insult to people's dignity.

Mahlangu said city authorities needed to look at fixing the aging water and sewer pipes which have not been replaced in years. Zimbabwe had world record inflation before the formation in 2009 of a coalition government between longtime President Robert Mugabe and the former opposition leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

DEPUTIES: ATTEMPTED BURGLAR FOUND ASLEEP ON FLOOR: HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies responding to a burglary call say they found a 20-year-old man asleep on the kitchen floor of a home in Oregon.

The Washington County sheriff's office says the homeowner discovered the sleeping stranger early Friday. Deputies arrived to find Cristian Villarreal-Castillo, who had in his pockets small electronic devices believed to be stolen from unlocked vehicles.

Deputies say many items in the home in the Rock Creek neighborhood of Hillsboro had been ransacked in an apparent attempt to find valuables. They believe Villarreal-Castillo entered the home through an unlocked door and was in the process of gathering items when he fell asleep.

He is charged with burglary, attempted theft, trespassing and criminal mischief. Investigators also linked him to a burglary that happened a few hours before his arrest.

BOSTON ANGLER REELS IN HANDGUN: BOSTON (AP) — A Boston man fishing for dinner at a city beach instead came up with an "upsetting and scary" catch — a handgun.

Alberto Pina said he at first thought he'd hooked a big one when his fishing pole bent Sunday afternoon at Carson Beach, a day after he hauled in a 27-inch bluefish.

But what came out of the water was a barnacle-encrusted gun.

The 37-year-old Roxbury man said what was particularly upsetting is that he had his 3-year-old son with him.

Boston police spokeswoman Nicole Grant tells the Boston Herald that Pina called 911 at 6:11 p.m. to report his catch. Detectives were dispatched to the scene to recover the weapon and start an investigation.

 

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