Monsoon victims riot for aid
TURBAT — Hungry victims of monsoon-spawned floods in southwestern Pakistan rioted yesterday, protesting slow, meager aid reaching their marooned villages where many feared the receding waters would yield numerous bodies.
Police fired tear gas and shots into the air but failed to disperse a crowd of several thousand villagers who broke into and ransacked the mayor’s office in this southwestern city, which is now ringed by floodwater.
U.S. seeks news on ‘disappeared’
COLOMBO — The United States has voiced concern about the fate of 355 Sri Lankans who “disappeared” in recent months amid an escalation of the island’s ethnic conflict, the government here said yesterday.
U.S. Ambassador Robert Blake presented the list of names of people whose whereabouts were unknown, the foreign ministry said. U.S. officials said the Sri Lankan government has responded to past expressions of concern about human rights.
But the Colombo government has come under mounting local and international criticism of its rights record in recent months.
AIDS infections produce outrage
ASTANA — A court convicted 21 medical workers this week for their roles in infecting scores of children with the virus that causes AIDS, but gave only light sentences to higher-level officials.
Amid protest from relatives, the Shymkent district court gave suspended sentences to five senior health officials, including the district’s chief medical officer.
Another 16 medical workers, including nurses and doctors in the city’s hospital and clinics, were given prison sentences of up to five years.
The Central Asian nation has been shocked by the infections, which resulted from tainted injections and blood transfusions at local hospitals in the district.