- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 17, 2002

Dresden floods reach record levels

DRESDEN, Germany The death toll rose to 15 in Germany yesterday as authorities evacuated thousands of people near Dresden's historic city center, with floodwaters pushing the Elbe River to a record high and spilling into a square near some of the city's cultural landmarks.

At the famed 19th-century Semper Opera in the old city, emergency crews gave up pumping water out of the basement as the dirty brown tide kept rising.

The Elbe fed by high water that earlier devastated Prague, rose to 29½ feet early yesterday, shattering the previous high of 283/4 feet reached in 1845. City officials said the river was expected to crest today.

Near-miss asteroid pulls within sight

LONDON Skywatchers will have a rare opportunity this weekend to spot an asteroid that will pass close enough to Earth to be viewed through binoculars, British astronomers said yesterday.

The half-mile-wide space rock will pass by Earth at a distance of 329,000 miles slightly farther away than the moon but still a "near miss" by cosmic standards.

The asteroid will be 100 times fainter than the naked eye can see, but will be visible appearing as a fast moving star through binoculars or a small telescope.

NATO mission seeking Bosnian Serb fugitive

CELEBICI, Bosnia-Herzegovina NATO-led troops concluded a two-day operation yesterday to gather information about the support network believed to be helping top Bosnian Serb war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic evade arrest.

Before dawn, troops left this remote area in the mountains of eastern Bosnia near the Montenegrin border, 50 miles southeast of Sarajevo, where the former Bosnian Serb wartime leader is believed to be hiding.

Mr. Karadzic was indicted for war crimes by the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, but has repeatedly eluded NATO pursuers.

Islamic militant suspected in blast

MULTAN, Pakistan A suspected Islamic militant died yesterday when the bomb he apparently was building detonated prematurely at an Islamic school under construction in central Pakistan, police said. One other man was wounded in the blast.

The explosion killed Alam Sher, who police said belonged to the outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammed group. Additional explosives were recovered at the scene, 185 miles south of Islamabad, police added.

The explosion came after a police announcement that 12 members of Islamic extremist groups had been arrested for their roles in various deadly attacks on Pakistani Christian institutions.

Taiwanese official extends stay in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia The vice president of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is meeting politicians in Indonesia and staying in the country for two more days than expected, a former Indonesian minister said yesterday, disclosing an itinerary likely to further annoy China.

Agung Laksono, a youth minister during the administration of ex-President Suharto, also told reporters that Annette Lu's next stop would be Australia.

Beijing, which considers Taiwan a breakaway province and has tried to cut off its international relations, is already unhappy that Mrs. Lu has gone to Indonesia.

'Weeping Elvis' draws pilgrims to Dutch shrine

DUERNE, Netherlands A plaster bust of Elvis Presley wept "miracle" tears yesterday on the 25th anniversary of his death, its Dutch owner said.

Toon Nieuwenhuisen, a 50-year-old professional Elvis impersonator in the small town of Duerne in the southern Netherlands, also said the ghost of the "King of Rock 'n' Roll" appeared in his house last week.

Wearing a tasseled black leather jacket, a wig and sunglasses, Mr. Nieuwenhuisen said the bust, which he keeps in a spare room he has converted into a shrine to Elvis, started weeping just shortly after breakfast yesterday.

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