- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 10, 2000

Mexico's Pacific coast rocked by earthquake

MEXICO CITY A strong earthquake rocked Mexico's Pacific coast yesterday, sending frightened residents from their beds into the streets, but doing little damage.
The quake's lone apparent casualty was a man recovering from a heart operation who died possibly of fright in the town of Huetamo, 100 miles to the northeast of the city of Lazaro Cardenas, said Nahum Cortes of the state civil defense agency.
The 6:42 a.m. quake's offshore epicenter was 30 miles from Lazaro Cardenas, a port about 210 miles southwest of Mexico City.

Workers criticize farm seizures

HARARE, Zimbabwe The occupation of white-owned farms by ruling party militants has impoverished hundreds of farm workers and their families, the workers' union said yesterday.
The General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union warned the situation will worsen for the farm workers if the government goes ahead with its program to nationalize the white-owned commercial farms without making provisions for the hundreds of thousands who work and live there.
Since February, militants and squatters have illegally occupied more than 1,600 white-owned farms, demanding they be seized, divided up and turned over to landless blacks.

Nagasaki remembers day of second bomb

TOKYO A thousand lanterns were sent floating down a river in Nagasaki yesterday, casting a glow on banks where residents died 55 years ago as they sought solace from the heat generated by the world's second atomic bomb attack.
The luminous paper flotilla commemorated those who were driven to the river in a desperate search for water in the aftermath of the blast on Aug. 9, 1945.
Amid growing concern that tensions between India and Pakistan the world's newest nuclear powers could lead to atomic warfare, Nagasaki Mayor Itcho Ito urged renewed efforts to eliminate such weapons of mass destruction.
"The people of the Earth must not forget that there are approximately 30,000 nuclear weapons still in existence," Mr. Ito said.

Indigenous people offer peace prayer

NEW YORK A Lakota Indian chief performed a sacred pipe ceremony on the grounds of the United Nations and offered a prayer for world peace yesterday to mark the International Day of the World's Indigenous People.
The event highlighted U.N. efforts to raise the profile of indigenous people and treat their suffering as more than just a footnote in the wider struggle for human rights.
It was also the first time the annual day was celebrated since the U.N. Economic and Social Council decided late last month to establish a permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The forum will have 16 representatives and for the first time give indigenous people a separate voice within the U.N. system.

Northeastern India battered by floods

GAUHATI, India Heavy rain submerged more of northeastern India yesterday, and two of the nation's largest rivers crested over their banks, raising the death toll in four weeks of flooding to 121 and leaving 5.1 million homeless.
The Brahmaputra River in Assam state and its tributaries were high above the danger level in several places, the state Flood Control Department said. In eastern Bihar state, the turbulent Ganges was rising as well.
Five persons were swept away in Assam's Nalbari district yesterday and four others drowned in the western part of the state since Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 89 in four weeks.

Party posts banned for Bhutto, Sharif

ISLAMABAD Pakistani military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf issued a decree yesterday that seemed to bar ex-Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif from holding party offices because of court convictions.
An ordinance issued in the name of figurehead President Mohammad Rafiq Tarar said any person disqualified from being a parliament member or convicted for a criminal offense involving moral turpitude or under the anti-terrorism law could not be an office holder of a political party.
Legal sources said the decree, which would come into force immediately, would effectively bar both former leaders from formally leading their parties the Pakistan Muslim League and Pakistan People's Party respectively.

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