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story.lead_photo.caption A person walks by the Franco family burial space adorned with flowers in the Almudena Crypt, a cavernous late-19th century Catholic temple under Madrid's Almudena cathedral, in central Madrid, Spain, Thursday Oct. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul White)

Franco's reburial stirs contention

MADRID -- The Spanish government announced Tuesday that it will use legal means to prevent the remains of Gen. Francisco Franco from being reburied under Madrid's cathedral, a move that stands to undermine efforts to rid the country of the late dictator's long shadow.

Franco was interred upon his death in 1975 in a prominent space at the Valley of the Fallen, where the remains of some 34,000 fighters from both sides of the Spanish Civil War lie. Spain's center-left government decided earlier this year to exhume Franco's remains, but it has struggled to find an appropriate new burial place.

The Socialist government is trying to persuade the Franco family to bury the remains in the El Pardo cemetery just outside Madrid where Franco's wife lies, but his nine grandchildren have agreed to receive the body only if he can be re-interred in a family sepulcher under central Madrid's Almudena Cathedral.

On Tuesday, Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said the Holy See's state secretary, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, had agreed to "jointly find a solution that obviously can't be the Almudena" cathedral, which belongs to the Madrid Archdiocese.

But the Holy See's press office later released a statement clarifying that while not opposing the exhumation of Franco, the cardinal had left it up to the Spanish government and Franco's heirs to agree to a reburial place.

High winds, hard rain deadly in Italy

ROME -- Violent thunderstorms, small tornadoes that blew roofs off homes and winds equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane lashed Italy from Piedmont to Sicily early this week, leaving at least 11 people dead, many injured, and firefighters and other rescue workers scrambling to respond to emergency calls.

In Venice, ferocious winds drove the high tide to more than 61 inches above average sea level Monday, one of the highest levels ever recorded, plunging much of the city under water. It was the highest flood in a decade in Venice, though far short of the record, more than 76 inches above level, set in November 1966.

The city's cathedral was damaged by flooding as water submerged part of the floor in the central part of the basilica for only the fifth recorded time in its nine-century history, officials said.

Winds reached 112 mph in Liguria, on Italy's northwest coast, one of the hardest-hit regions. The Italian news agency ANSA described a "massacre of yachts" in the town of Rapallo, near Genoa, where dozens of boats moored in the port broke loose and crashed against the shore, or were driven out to sea.

Cameroon gunfire fatal to American

YAOUNDE, Cameroon -- The director of a hospital in northwestern Cameroon said an American missionary from Indiana died when he was caught in the crossfire of bullets not intended for him.

Kingue Thomson Njie, director of the Bamenda regional hospital, said Charles Trumann Wesco was shot in the head when he was in his car early Tuesday. Njie said Wesco died after all attempts were made to save his life.

He told The Associated Press that Wesco's wife and children were still in Bamenda. It was unclear if any of them were harmed.

Bamenda is in the restive English-speaking region where armed separatists have been fighting to create an independent state.

A Section on 10/31/2018

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