TYLER, Texas

Two young men charged with setting church fires

Federal authorities say they have charged two suspects in a series of church fires in Texas.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesman Tom Crowley says 19-year-old Jason Robert Bourque and 21-year-old Daniel George McAllister have been charged Sunday with five counts of felony arson in connection with fires at churches in Smith County, east Texas.

Authorities believe at least 11 blazes at churches in Texas since the start of the year have been set intentionally.

FUNCHAL, Madeira Islands

Floods, mudslides kill 42; unknown number missing

Rescue workers in Madeira dug through heaps of mud, boulders and debris Sunday, searching for victims buried by floods and mudslides that have killed at least 42 people on the popular Portuguese island.

Residents looking for missing loved ones were directed by local authorities to the resort’s international airport, where a makeshift morgue has been set up.

Social services spokesman Francisco Jardim Ramos said not all the bodies had been identified. The center is equipped with psychiatric, psychological and social counseling services, he said.

More than 120 other people were injured and an unknown number were missing, possibly swept away or smothered, authorities said, adding the death could still rise. Of 248 people who were forced to flee their homes for temporary shelters, 85 have been allowed to return home, Ramos said.

Late Sunday, a spokeswoman for the British Foreign office confirmed that a British national had died.

KATMANDU, Nepal

Man who is 22 inches tall seeks spot in record book

A man who is only 22 inches tall left his home country of Nepal on Sunday in a quest to be recognized as the world’s shortest man. Khagendra Thapa Magar is traveling to Europe to campaign for the Guinness World Record title. He applied to London-based group for a place in the record book in October, soon after turning 18, but said he has not received any response.

Magar’s family initially filed a claim when he was 14, but it was rejected because he was not an adult and there was a chance he might grow.

They say doctors in Nepal have not been able to explain why Magar is so small.

”We are going to Italy to try to record his name in the Guinness Book of World Records,” his father, Rup Bahadur Thapa Magar, told reporters in Katmandu. They plan to appear on an Italian television show.

Once in Italy, Magar, his father and a supporter will decide on their next destination.

CARACAS, Venezuela

Chavez accuses enemies of sabotaging power grid

President Hugo Chavez accused his adversaries on Sunday of sabotaging Venezuela’s electricity grid as part of a broader plan aimed at bringing about the system’s collapse — and his downfall.

Chavez said authorities must be ”on the alert” and apprehend anyone who cuts electricity cables connected to the grid. Such sabotage has caused power failures in some regions and exacerbated the effects of severe energy shortages, he said.

”Be on the lookout! Patrols must be carried out to capture the saboteurs because those responsible must be caught and put in prison,” Chavez said during his weekly television and radio program, ”Hello President.”

Chavez provided no evidence supporting the accusations.