- The Washington Times - Monday, May 24, 2004

CHINA

Human trials begin for SARS vaccine

BEIJING — Chinese scientists have begun testing a SARS vaccine on four volunteers at a Beijing hospital, state newspapers said yesterday, in what appears to be the first such experiment on humans.

The volunteers, all in their 20s, were injected with the vaccine on Saturday at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital under tight security, reported the Beijing Youth Daily and the Guangzhou Daily.

GERMANY

Former IMF chief elected president

BERLIN — Horst Koehler, a former head of the International Monetary Fund who advocates bolder economic reforms in Germany, was elected yesterday as the country’s ninth postwar president.

Nominated by opposition conservatives, Mr. Koehler defeated Gesine Schwan, a university professor backedby Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s government who sought to become Germany’s first female head of state.

Mr. Koehler, 61, won by a vote of 604-589 by a special assembly of lawmakers and state delegates in Berlin’s Reichstag parliament building.

COLOMBIA

Disco bombing marks guerrillas’ anniversary

BOGOTA — A bomb thought to be planted by rebels exploded in a crowded disco Saturday in northwest Colombia, killing at least six persons and wounding 82 — the bloodiest in a series of attacks marking the 40th anniversary of Colombia’s main rebel group.

At least 13 persons have been killed and more than 100 wounded since the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) began its wave of attacks Thursday, apparently to mark the 40th anniversary of its founding this week.

KASHMIR

Blast kills 28 persons in disputed territory

LOWERMUNDA, India — At least 28 persons were killed in disputed Kashmir yesterday when a bus packed with Indian soldiers and their families ran over a land mine planted by separatist guerrillas, officials said.

The attack, which came one day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took office, was the deadliest in Kashmir since India and Pakistan began a peace process last year.

MALAWI

Former economist wins election

BLANTYRE — The electoral commission declared the ruling party’s Bingu wa Mutharika the winner of a chaotic presidential election yesterday, prompting charges of fraud from opposition parties.

The main opposition parties said they were joining forces to challenge the result and signaled they were considering legal action to oust Mr. Mutharika.

BANGLADESH

Twin ferry disasters leave 240 missing

DHAKA — Two river ferries capsized or sank in Bangladesh’s storm-hit south yesterday, and 240 passengers were reported missing as divers began a search for survivors.

One of the packed ferries carrying about 250 people overturned yesterday on the Meghna River, and 50 were rescued, the state news agency BSS said. Earlier reports had said up to 300 were aboard. A second ferry sank on the same river just half a mile away, and 40 passengers were missing. Six were rescued from that vessel.

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