- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 28, 2001

U.S. official meets with Burma's Suu Kyi

RANGOON, Burma A senior U.S. official has met with Burma democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who reaffirmed her commitment to dialogue with the ruling military regime, a U.S. diplomat said yesterday.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ralph Boyce met with Mrs. Suu Kyi at her Rangoon residence on Monday. He is the first U.S. official to see her during five months of house detention that began after she tried to travel outside the capital for political work.

"She had told the visiting U.S. official that she is committed to peaceful dialogue and hopes it will lead to national reconciliation," the diplomat said on the customary condition of anonymity.

Mr. Boyce also held separate meetings with Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, the diplomat said.

Mrs. Suu Kyi and the regime began secret talks in October, their first direct dialogue in more than six years. The National League for Democracy won general elections in 1990, but the military has refused to honor the result.

Brisbane is invaded by savage fire ants

SYDNEY, Australia Dangerous South American fire ants have invaded one of Australia's largest cities, and officials are concerned the insects will migrate farther.

The fire ant has a savage bite that can kill people who suffer allergic reactions to its venom, the Queensland State Department of Primary Industries said yesterday. The ant can also cause root damage to some crops, the department said.

Ian Douglas, the department's manager of emergency response, said three sites in the state capital, Brisbane, have been infested with thousands of fire ants, and there have been hundreds of suspected sightings. Some people have been stung by the ants, but no deaths have been reported, he said.

Frozen toddler plays and talks

TORONTO A 13-month-old girl whose body was frozen and heart stopped during a winter's night outside on the weekend was playing and talking to her mother yesterday, her doctor said.

The toddler was ready to leave the intensive pediatric unit and move to a regular hospital room, Dr. Alf Conradi, the unit's director at the Stollery Children's Health Center, told reporters in Edmonton, Alberta.

He said the baby, who has not been identified, was interacting with her mother and being playful. She uttered a few words like "mom" and "down."

The toddler, wearing only a diaper, wandered from the home where she had been sleeping Friday night with her mother and 2-year-old sister. She was found outside at 3 a.m. Saturday.

Anti-globalizers gather in Mexican resort

CANCUN, Mexico Wearing padded life vests and helmets, anti-globalization protesters marched through Cancun's streets yesterday, demanding that political and business leaders gathered at a beachfront hotel do more for the world's poor.

The march came hours before President Vicente Fox was scheduled to make the closing speech at the World Economic Forum's Mexico meeting.

Mr. Fox has said he wants to create more jobs and raise wages in an attempt to help the country's impoverished. But protesters gathered here have said the government should focus first on helping the poor with improved social services.

Floodwaters swamp parts of Mozambique

MAPUTO, Mozambique Flooding in northwestern Mozambique worsened yesterday after a major dam opened floodgates to relieve the pressure on its walls and more water was coming soon.

The waters of the Zambezi River flooded low-lying areas of Tete city, the capital of Tete province, after more floodgates were opened on the Cahora Bassa Dam on Monday night.

The state-owned newspaper Noticias reported Monday that more than 50 had died.

Mozambique is still recovering from devastating floods last year that killed more than 700 people and destroyed roads, houses and farmland across the southern and central parts of the country.

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