World and Nation

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Bomb threat against Louisiana campus spurs evacuation

Thousands of people were evacuated from the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on Monday after a telephoned bomb threat, the fourth such evacuation on a college campus in four days.

The threat to LSU was called in to the 911 dispatcher for East Baton Rouge Parish at 10:32 a.m., and the campus was evacuated within an hour, said Herb Vincent, a spokesman for the university.

“No specifics given, but we deemed it necessary to evacuate,” he said, adding that although the school has 29,000 students enrolled, it was difficult to say how many were on campus.

The authorities were still searching buildings late Monday but were allowing people into residential buildings and dining facilities, which had been cleared.

On Friday, bomb threats were called in to three other colleges around the country, including the University of Texas at Austin. In all three cases, campus wide evacuations were ordered, police officers conducted sweeps, and students, faculty and staff returned hours later.

The FBI is investigating whether the threats are related, a bureau spokesman in Washington said.

—Campbell Robertson and Manny Fernandez
The New York Times

Financial strains threaten Palestinian authority

JERUSALEM — As the Palestinian Authority marks the 19th anniversary this month of the signing of the Oslo Accords, the agreement with Israel that brought it into existence, the authority is facing a financial crisis that experts say could threaten its future operations and stability.

The International Monetary Fund said last year that the Western-backed authority had built the institutions and sound fiscal policies for running the economy of a future state.

Oussama Kanaan, the fund’s mission chief for the West Bank and Gaza, said in an interview that on that count, nothing had changed.

But there is no state in sight and the Oslo Accords, which were meant as interim arrangements giving the Palestinians limited self-rule, have stretched on for nearly two decades, perpetuating what critics say are conditions that are now limiting economic development.

The authority needs $400 million in immediate assistance to cover a gap in its 2012 budget and at has been confronted with growing public outrage over austerity measures and steep price increases driven largely by outside forces.

—Isabel Kershner, The New York Times