- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Heavy rains kill ‘hundreds’

SEOUL — Heavy rains spawned flooding that left “hundreds” dead or missing in North Korea and destroyed more than 30,000 homes, the country’s state media reported today.

The official Korean Central News Agency said preliminary information revealed massive casualties after the storms that began last week, but gave no specific figures.

“The heavy rain destroyed at least 800 public buildings, over 540 bridges, 70 sections of railroads and at least 1,100 vehicles, pumps and electric motors,” KCNA said.

More than 2 million people are estimated to have died in North Korea after a famine struck in the mid-1990s, which the government blamed on natural disasters but was also linked to outdated farming methods as well as the loss of the country’s Soviet benefactor. North Korea still relies on outside food aid to help feed its people.


Howard is called climate skeptic

CANBERRA — A report questioning climate change and calling global warming a “natural phenomenon” yesterday led to accusations Australian Prime Minister John Howard was a climate-change skeptic.

A group of four government lawmakers — two of them former ministers — said climate change had been observed on other planets and moons including “Mars, Jupiter, Triton, Pluto, Neptune and others.”

The statement triggered a scornful response from the opposition.

“Prime Minister, what planet are these government MPs on?” Labor Party environment spokesman and former rock star Peter Garrett asked Mr. Howard in Parliament.


Jiang allies lose influence

BEIJING — Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin suffered a political blow when his son and the security chief were left out of the running for seats in the Communist Party Central Committee, sources with ties to the leadership told Reuters news agency.

Story Continues →