- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 6, 2001

Helicopters ferry flood victims

NHACOLO, Mozambique Rescue helicopters evacuated more than 400 people threatened by floodwaters in Mozambique yesterday, but many stayed behind to guard their homes and possessions.

South African air force and World Food Program helicopters plucked 444 persons to safety from islands in the lower Zambezi River, near the delta where it enters the Indian Ocean.

But there was practically no food, clean water or shelter from the heat for the airlifted flood victims many of them children who were dropped off in the small town of Nhacolo, about 150 miles upstream.

France put on alert for animal disease

PARIS France yesterday banned exports of animals at risk from foot-and-mouth disease after tests on nine herds showed traces of the highly contagious virus. In Belgium, tests showed no evidence of the disease in suspected pigs.

So far, there have been no confirmed cases of the disease in continental Europe: The Agriculture Ministry said it was not yet clear whether the animals in France were carriers, only that tests showed that they had produced antibodies after being in contact with the virus.

But with fears growing that the disease will spread from Britain and Northern Ireland, where 70 separate outbreaks have been reported, France outlined strict new security measures that will freeze some sectors of its animal industry.

Mountie killed in Canada's arctic

CAPE DORSET, Nunavut An officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was fatally shot yesterday in the remote arctic territory of Nunavut, police said.

Constable Jurgen Seewald, 47, was shot while responding to a domestic dispute in the hamlet of Cape Dorset, police said. He was a 26-year veteran of the force.

Officers surrounded a house on Baffin Island, where the suspected gunman barricaded himself, police said. Cape Dorset is 1,280 miles north of Montreal.

Mass grave found in Chechen republic

MOSCOW New evidence of war crimes committed by Russian servicemen in Chechnya emerged yesterday with the release of grisly pictures of more than 50 bodies discovered in a mass grave near the military's headquarters in the rebel republic.

Many of the bodies had bullet holes in the skull, knife wounds, bound hands and legs and eyes covered with blindfolds. The mass grave is the biggest found since the current campaign began in the autumn of 1999.

Nearly all had been dead for only a few months, and several have already been identified as civilians detained by the Russian military in the region.

Iran releases one of 10 imprisoned Jews

TEHRAN An Iranian Jew who was convicted of spying for Israel was released from prison yesterday after serving a two-year sentence, the first of 10 Jews convicted in the case to be freed.

Ramin Nematizadeh walked out of the prison in Shiraz, capital of the southern Fars province, Iran's official news agency reported.

The 10 Jews were convicted in July. The United States and Israel, which denies the convicted men were its agents, have called for overturning the convictions.

Peru to start Berenson retrial

LIMA, Peru Peru's civilian retrial of Lori Berenson, a U.S. woman facing 20 years in prison on charges she collaborated with a Marxist rebel group's foiled attack on Congress, will begin March 20, two weeks later than first announced, the government said yesterday.

"I estimate the trial will last four to six weeks," Javier Llaque, a senior official at the anti-terrorism court that will conduct the trial, told Reuters.

In 1996, military judges sentenced Berenson, a 31-year-old New Yorker, to life in prison as a leader of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, Berenson has always said she is innocent.

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