- - Tuesday, October 11, 2011

THAILAND

Thailand tallies cost of nationwide floods

BANGKOK — Thailand is counting the multibillion-dollar cost of nationwide flooding that has killed nearly 270 people and may yet cause more havoc as waters threaten to engulf the country’s capital.

Bank of Thailand Gov. Prasarn Trairatvorakul said a preliminary estimate by the central bank shows economic losses from flooding that began in late July range from $1.9 billion to $2.6 billion.

That figure doesn’t include damages to assets or reconstruction costs and is expected to rise as the floodwaters surge toward Bangkok, a city of about 10 million people. Some of its outlying areas are already underwater.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Bangkok officials pleaded Tuesday with the city’s residents not to panic as workers raced to complete three critical flood walls with only one or two days to go before the already swollen river that winds through the capital bursts its banks.

MEXICO

Official: Migration drops 70% in Central America

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s immigration chief says there has been a sharp drop in the number of Central Americans crossing Mexico to reach the U.S.

Commissioner Salvador Beltran del Rio says the number of Central Americans crossing Mexico without documents has dropped from 433,000 in 2005 to 140,000 in 2010. He says the downward trend has continued in the first eight months of this year.

Mr. Beltran said Monday that Central Americans crossing Mexico face increased risks of extortion, kidnapping and violence because organized crime has moved into migrant trafficking.

In one of the worst attacks, 72 migrants were slaughtered in the border state of Tamaulipas in August 2010. Most were Central Americans.

GERMANY

Arson attack foiled on Berlin train tracks

BERLIN — An attempted arson attack on a railway link in Germany’s capital with three separate explosive devices was thwarted Monday, police said.

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