- The Washington Times - Friday, July 14, 2000

42 die as monsooncollapses hilly slums

BOMBAY At least 42 persons died and 38 were injured when part of a hill loosened by monsoon rain collapsed on unauthorized slums, city officials said Thursday.

Hundreds of people live in tin and mud huts built into Balbati Hill, a hillside overlooking eastern Bombay, and workers said there could be another 25 bodies buried under the debris that fell Wednesday night. Scores of others were believed to have fled.

"Rescue work is still going on. The rain is making it very difficult to move the debris," said P. Jadhav, a municipal official.

The annual monsoon rain has crippled transport services, with clogged drains causing roads and railroad tracks to flood throughout India's largest city.

U.S. warns Haiti it risks aid loss

The United States warned Haiti Thursday that it risked losing international aid if it did not quickly correct the flaws of its recent elections.

Haiti held parliamentary and municipal elections May 21 in which observers said tainted results in Senate races had favored former President Jean Bertrand Aristide's Lavalas party.

The electoral dispute could hold up badly needed foreign aid in the hemisphere's poorest country that is struggling to build democratic institutions after decades of dictatorship.

Mahuad's arrest sought by Ecuador judge

QUITO, Ecuador Ecuador's top judge Thursday ordered the arrest of former President Jamil Mahuad on corruption charges stemming from his drastic measures to end Ecuador's economic crisis.

Chief Justice Galo Pico also ordered the arrest of former Finance Minister Lucia Armijos, who along with Mr. Mahuad was accused by an independent commission of violating Ecuador's constitution by freezing bank deposits in March 1999.

Mr. Mahuad, 51, left the country in March, following the Jan. 21 coup that ousted him from office.

Gambia probes reports of coup being plotted

BANJUL, Gambia Judicial authorities in Gambia have launched a probe into fresh allegations that officers and individuals close to the ruling party were plotting a coup.

According to a statement obtained from Foday Barry, chief of Gambia's National Intelligence Agency, the coup plan was in an "advanced stage."

"There was an intelligence report that Ebrima Yarbo and some military personnel are planning to overthrow the government of the Gambia by force," the statement said.

Referendum stalls on Western Sahara

NEW YORK The United Nations said Thursday there has been no progress in a dispute on an independence referendum for Western Sahara, suggesting that some alternative to the vote might need to be considered.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a report to the U.N. Security Council that negotiations on the referendum had actually moved "backwards" after the last round of talks between Morocco and Western Sahara's independence-seeking rebels, held in London on June 28.

During those talks, which were headed by former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III acting as Mr. Annan's personal envoy, neither side offered proposals to resolve their differences, which have delayed the referendum for nearly 10 years, Mr. Annan said.

Based on wire dispatches and staff reports.

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