Huge wildfire southwest of Berlin

sets off WWII arms blasts

BERLIN (AP) — Firefighters struggled Friday to tame a wildfire southwest of Berlin but had to maneuver carefully as the blaze set off old World War II ammunition that is still buried in the forests around the German capital.

Flames forced the evacuation of several nearby villages and sent clouds of acrid smoke toward the German capital.

The fire, which was the size of 500 soccer fields, has already set off several detonations of old ammunition, according to local lawmaker Christian Stein. Firefighters were not allowed to enter suspicious areas.

“The ammunition is very dangerous, because one cannot step on the ground, and therefore one cannot get close to the fire” to extinguish it, Brandenburg state’s governor, Dietmar Woidke, told reporters.

The fire started Thursday afternoon and spread quickly through the dry pine forests in the Treuenbrietzen region, 50 kilometers (30 miles) outside of Berlin in the eastern state of Brandenburg. By evening, authorities had evacuated 500 people from the villages of Frohnsdorf, Klausdorf and Tiefenbrunnen.

Mexico’s president-elect thanks

Trump for being respectful

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday thanked U.S. President Donald Trump for treating Mexicans with more respect — or at least not saying anything insulting lately.

“For some time now, he (Trump) has been very prudent in referring to Mexicans, or he hasn’t said offensive things,” Lopez Obrador said. “I have to thank him for that. … Up to now, things are going well. There has been respect.”

Earlier this week Trump said about Lopez Obrador: “I think he’s going to be terrific.”

Mexico’s president-elect also said that bilateral talks on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement “are on a good track.”

But Lopez Obrador — who has had baseball on his mind this week — paraphrased Yankees legend Yogi Berra, saying “This isn’t over till it’s over.”

Lopez Obrador, who will take office on Dec. 1, took a break from his routine of meetings on Thursday and posted a video of himself on a baseball field, where took a turn at bat and connected solidly on about a half-dozen pitches.

The 64-year-old, who claims to bat above .300, said he wants to set up schools throughout Mexico to promote baseball in a country where soccer dominates.