- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 27, 2004

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Storm death toll reaches 660

JIMANI — Dominican soldiers used dogs and shovels to search for flood victims yesterday, while U.S. and Canadian troops hurried to neighboring Haitian towns to assess the full scope of the disaster. At least 660 persons were dead, and hundreds were missing.

More than 150 corpses were buried where they were found yesterday in the Dominican border town of Jimani, a Civil Defense official said.

Families were told that there was no time to identify many of the bodies because they were in advanced stages of decomposition and posed health risks if moved. Nearly 400 people were missing in the Dominican Republic, and more than 160 were unaccounted for in Haiti.

RUSSIA

Putin offers vision of prosperity

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin offered a vision of prosperity for Russia’s masses yesterday, pledging big increases in income and a better life for millions who have yet to benefit from post-Soviet reforms.

Mr. Putin’s annual state of the nation address set down broad economic aims two months after his landslide re-election. It also was intended to appeal to average Russians in upholding the right to decent housing, health care and education.

JAPAN

Police raid contacts of al Qaeda suspect

TOKYO — Japanese police raided homes and businesses linked to a Frenchman suspected of al Qaeda connections and arrested five persons.

Investigators searched 10 locations across Japan yesterday, including Tokyo and the northern city of Niigata, where Lionel Dumont, a French citizen with a history of violent crime, worked as a car salesman in 2002 and 2003.

Police arrested three Bangladeshi men, a Malian man and an Indian citizen. Four were taken into custody on suspicion of violating Japanese immigration laws, and one of the Bangledeshis was accused of falsifying documents.

PAKISTAN

2 car bombs explode near U.S. mission

KARACHI — Two car bombs exploded minutes apart by a language school close to the U.S. consul’s residence in Pakistan’s biggest city yesterday, killing a police officer and wounding 25 persons.

The attack came days after police in Karachi said they smashed an Islamic militant ring accused in a deadly bombing outside the U.S. Consulate two years ago and a failed assassination plot against Pakistan’s pro-American president.

The second and far more powerful blast, which occurred 25 minutes after the first, hit police and journalists at the scene. Twelve police officers and at least three photographers were among the wounded.

GERMANY

Cosmos said to look like Eiffel Tower

BERLIN — The universe looks like the Eiffel Tower topped with a never-ending spire, a German physicist said yesterday.

Researchers in Ulm, birthplace of Albert Einstein, have developed a model of the universe as an elongated triangle like the Paris landmark, but with a spire going on and on.

The team at Ulm University hopes its model will revolutionize understanding of the universe. Visualizations are difficult, because scientists have mathematical proof that the universe has an infinite form but a finite volume.

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