- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 16, 2000

Venezuela fears floods on northern coast

CARACAS, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez late yesterday declared a state of emergency in 10 states after days of incessant heavy rains left at least three persons dead and 2,400 homeless in the northern coast.

The emergency forced Mr. Chavez to cancel a five-day tour of Central America.

The rains have raised fears of a recurrence of last year's massive floods and mudslides that killed at least 15,000 people, left tens of thousands homeless and wiped out entire towns in the northern coastal state of Vargas.

European Parliament hits Turks on genocide

STRASBOURG, France The European Parliament formally accused Turks of conducting genocide against Armenians 85 years ago, prompting an angry reaction from Ankara, which said the decision would shake relations with the European Union.

A similar resolution backed by the Armenian lobby in the U.S. Congress last month badly strained relations between Ankara and Washington. It was dropped only when President Clinton said its passage would damage U.S. security interests.

The motion, passed by 234-to-213, does not oblige EU member states to take any action.

At least 34 dead in Angola crash

LUANDA, Angola Firefighters have retrieved 34 charred bodies from the wreckage of an Antonov-24 aircraft that crashed shortly after takeoff yesterday just outside Luanda.

Blast kills six in Northern Iraq

ISTANBUL A motorcycle loaded with explosives blew up outside a coffee shop in the Kurdish-held enclave of northern Iraq, killing six persons, a spokesman for a Kurdish party said.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party spokesman said the blast took place Tuesday afternoon in the city of Arbil and injured a further 17 persons at the cafe.

Canadian scientists say arctic is warming

TORONTO The ecosystem that sustains the livelihood of arctic residents is literally melting away as temperatures rise and birds and animals not indigenous to the region arrive, Canadian scientists said yesterday.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, said a dramatic new video to be released tomorrow documents the impact of the changing climate in the far North.

Euromed ministers stumble on Mideast

MARSEILLE, France Burgeoning Middle East violence yesterday threatened to steal the limelight at a Euromed meeting of European Union ministers and their Mediterranean counterparts here that was to have dwelt on regional cooperation.

Two Arab participants in the two-day meeting Syria and Lebanon had already announced they were boycotting the meeting of EU ministers and their Mediterranean counterparts to protest the presence of Israel.

Argentine government sets opposition plan

BUENOS AIRES Argentina's president and opposition governors agreed yesterday on a five-year government spending freeze as part of an austerity plan demanded by international lenders.

The proposed freeze was announced Friday by President Fernando De la Rua as part of a package to pull South America's second-largest economy out of a long economic downturn.

Authorities said they expected the deal to be signed today, placing a five-year cap on spending by Argentina's 23 provinces, the federal government and the city of Buenos Aires.

Fujimori leaves Brunei over Peru crisis

LIMA Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori will fly home early from a trade summit in Brunei to take charge of a political crisis raging at home, Agriculture Minister Jose Chlimper said yesterday.

The news came shortly after the government denied rumors that he had sought political asylum in Malaysia. Mr. Fujimori is attending an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

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