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GENERAL NEWS NOTES OF THE DAY. Great Britains new war committee of the cabinet during the temporary absence of Field Marshal Earl Kitchener, it was officially announced yesterday. will consist of Premier Asquith. Arthur .l". Balfour, first lord of the admiralty: David Lloyd George, minister of munitions: Andrew Bonar Law. secretary for the colonies, and Reginald McKcnua. chancellor of the exchequer. Sir Edward Grey, the British foreign secretary, told the bouse of commons yesterday afternoon that he had expressed a desire to resign at the time Viscount Haldane left the cabinet. "But for a crisis in the public affairs I would have done so." said the foreign secretary. Sir Edward declared he regarded I ird llahlanes resignation as a hiss to the public service. He said he regretted there had been no oiiortunitv to utilize Viscount llahlanes services in the foreign office. Premier As initl. answering a similar question, also paid a word of tribute to Viscount Haldane. saying: He rendered an inestimable service when in the war office. Replying to a request to lay the papers on the table respecting the Antwerp* expedition, Premier Asquith declined while the war was in progress. He added: Mr. Churchill formerly first lord of the admiralty may treat with indifference the allegations against him. He has a good record and will be amply justified when the full story is told. A series of storms unusually violent for the time of the year swept across central Kansas. Nebraska. South Dakota and Iowa Wednesday night, killing at least a dozen persons, injuring "scores of others and causing property damage that will run into millions. Great Bend, Kan., was the greatest sufferer. There twelve persons are re| orted killed and a hundred injured. The storm swept the wheat milling and railroad section of Great Bend and did damage estimated at half a milium dollars. At Derby. Kan., one man was killed and seven persons were injured in a tornado that struck there a few hours after the Great Bend disaster occurred. A number of persons were injured in a tornado that swept Hartford. S. D., and high winds that visited other hicalities in that state, as well as sections of western and central Nebraska, destroyed farm buildings ami damaged hay and grain stacks. Heavy rains accompanied the windstoru in many places. At Pratt. Kan., four and a half inches of rain was reported. Bennington. Blair and Tekamali. Neb., aud Waterloo. Iowa, reimrted heavy rains, accompanying high winds which did considerable minor damage. News from the Serbian front is vague, says a Renter dispatch from Athens to London, but it is declared to be untrue that the Germans are occupying the entire line from Kralievo to Kraguye-vatz and Petrovac. Important Serbian forces arriving from Mitrovitza have reached Kutchanik defile, where they occupied the railway to which tbe Bulgarians, bound from Uskup to Prisrend. had advanced. Operations extending to the northwestern front now are becomiug the key to the situation as Serbian troops sent from the north to Krusevo and Monastir will pass there. The Serbian government has lieen removed to Krusevo. east of Perleoe. Dispatches from Saloniki published in the London morning pai ers deny i ositively that Veles has lieen occupied by the French. They give a circumstantial story of the manner in which that report liecame circulated. A small French cavalry force, says one dispatch, penetrated the Bulgarian lines near Veles. but failed actually to enter the town. A misunderstanding in the nature of a cavalry raid led the Serbian official at Gievgeli to send out a telegraphic message that Veles had lieen occupied. The Milan Secolos correspondent, who has returned to Saloniki from Monastir, Serbian Macedonia, says the situation there is regarded as most critical. Already several bands of coinitadjie irregulars have iienetrated the city, aud extraordinary precautions are regarded as necessary to prevent uprisings among the citys Bulgarian population, which numbers more than 5,000. Monastir. the correspondent adds, is entirely cut off from communication with Serbia, and the Bulgarians also have succeeded in cutting communications with the French forces to the eastward. The population of the city lias been reduced to 25.000 from 70.000. "The French consul." says the correspndent. "appealed to the French military authorities to send two regiments to Monastir. but the commander refused to divide his forces." A late dispatch of yesterday from Berlin said: German troops have systematically evacuated the forest district to the west and southwest of Shlok. west of Riga, because it has been transformed into swamps by tbe rains, says the official announcement made today at German army headquarters. At a point to the west of Riga, the statement adds: Field Marshal von Hindenburg yesterday repulsed Russian attacks which were supported by three ships. To the southeast of Riga 100 Russians were made prisoners. General von Linsingens Aus-tro-Hungarian troops, assisted by German artillery, according to the announcement, have thrown the Russians from Kosceushnovka. General Koevess army yesterday took prisoner seven officers and 200 Russian soldiers and captured eight machine guns. Sergius Sazonoff. Russian foreign minister, is quoted by the Petrograd correspondent of the London Post as having said in an interview regarding the future policy of the entente allies: We must follow a i olicy based firmly on a lasting alliance Itetween Croat Britain. France and Russia. We must say to Germany: There are your frontiers and your limits. Work within them as you please, but out into the world you go no more. We desire to live at peace. We have had enough of your disintegrating influence. You must be content henceforth to stay quietly at home. Unless we can do this the great war will have been waged in vain. The State Department received a cablegram from American Consul White at Naples yesterday asserting the Societa Italia says that :47 passengers and crew of the Ancona are re|»orted as saved out of 4!*i. leaving 149 missing, and that the steamship officials believe that more will be reported saved. The submarine which sunk the Ancona. according to a Turin dispatch to the London Daily Chronicle, was one of the monster undersea craft delivered to Austria from the Krupp yards at Kiel at the beginning of the present year. Ik-spite denials that Prince von Buelow is in Switzerland on a peace mission, or that the Vatican is taking any part in preliminary peace negotiations. a Zurich dispatch asserts that the former German chancellor has had a lonj; interview with Father Ledochowski. general of the Society of Jesus, known as "the black pope." who came to Lucerne at the request of Prince von Buelow. The two men are said to have been in conference several hours, after which the Jesuit leader sent a long PBpSCt to the | ope. The Italian steamer Ancona was not sunk without warning, according to information obtained from survivors landed at Malto and cabled to London. The Austrian submarine which overhauled the liner after a long, stern chase, gave the commander a brief respite to permit the removal of passengers, but the indescribable panic among the immigrants on luiard as soon as the underwater craft was sighted was responsible for the loss of many lives. In a mad rush for safety, men. women ami children overwhelmed the boats. The agreement bet wen the Creek and Bulgarian military authorities for the establishment of a neutral zone along the Greco-Serbian frontier to prevent the possibility of incidents which might involve Onset, says a London Mail dispatch from Athens, shows the Bnlgars desire for the continuance of friendly relations with the Greek government. With the completion of the agreement bands of irregulars which had been operating close to the frontier nave vanished and disturbances have ceased. British authorities at Washington investigating the reported forcible search of the American steamer Zealandia at Irogreso. Mexico, by a party from a British cruiser have information which leads them to believe the Zealandia when searched was lying more than three miles off shore, and was therefore not iu a neutral port, but on the high seas. They are invi-stigating further and the state department is making inquiries. On the eastern battle front the Russians are making incessant attacks with the object of preventing the Ccrmans from intrenching or withdrawing troops to the other theaters of war. Berlin and Vienna pppsrl the r.-pulse of these attacks, but Petrograd asserts the Germans are being forced back iu the north on Ihe Riga-Dvinsk front, and that minor successes have lieen won against the Austro -Germans in Galicia. A Stock holm dispatch to the Copenhagen Politiken gives the report that the German protected cruiser Frauenlob. a sister ship ..f tin- Imlinc. has lieen torpedoed off tbe south coast of Sweden. The Undine was sunk off the coast of Sweden several days ago. Both these vessels were protected cruisers, with a displacement of L ;72 tons and a complement of 1 75 men. The British steamship "aria was sunk by a German submarine today. Where the attack took place was not announced iu Loudon. The crew was saved. The Carta was a Cuuarder of 3,032 tons. Its home port was Liverpool. Auothed boat, with twenty-seven survivors of the Ancona. has leached Cape Hon. Tunis. The names of the occupants of this boat have not vet beep received.