- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 23, 2005


Flooding, landslides kill dozens

BEIJING — China evacuated 100,000 people from a southern city to escape the surging water in one of three provinces where heavy rains triggered landslides and floods that killed at least 47 persons.

Floodwater forced the evacuation in the industrial city of Wuzhou, where the Xijiang River had reached 84 feet by Tuesday night, more than 25 feet higher than the warning level, state press said.

In China’s southwestern Wuxi County, about 30,000 residents were evacuated because of rising water, Xinhua said.


U.S. spy plane crashes in UAE

BAGHDAD — An American U-2 spy plane crashed while returning to its base in the United Arab Emirates yesterday, killing the pilot after a mission in support of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The aircraft crashed in the Emirates while approaching the base to land, said a Pentagon official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the operation.

Early reports gave no indication of any hostile fire, but it was too soon to be certain why it crashed, the official said.


Rich nations urged to open markets

GENEVA — Promised debt relief for the world’s poorest nations will have little effect if the richest powers keep their farm markets protected, U.N. officials and civil society groups said yesterday.

Although they welcomed a decision by Group of Eight finance ministers to write off $40 billion of debts that 18 countries owed to international organizations, they said the move left much more to be done to end global poverty.

“For [poor nations] to achieve the sustainable growth that will get them out of the debt cycle, they must have much better access to [farm] markets,” said Philippe Straatman, head of the debt-management program for the United Nations’ trade and development agency.


4 arrested for taping U.S.-built schools

GARISSA — Kenyan counterterror police have arrested four men, including one from the United Arab Emirates, spotted videotaping classrooms built under a U.S. military community aid program, police said yesterday.

Officers arrested the men on Tuesday in Mbalambala settlement, north of the eastern Kenyan town of Garissa, after residents reported them taping a school.

Others had reported the men were videotaping similar buildings in Liboi, further east on the border with Somalia, and an airstrip in Garissa district.

“Anti-terrorism officers are handling the case with a view to establish if these guys were planning or linked to any terrorism acts,” officials said.


Ex-Nazis convicted in wartime massacre

ROME — An Italian military tribunal yesterday condemned 10 former Nazi German soldiers, now in their 80s, to life in prison for the wartime massacre of 560 civilians in an Italian village.

The court also ordered the 10, who were tried in absentia, to pay damages as well as court costs.

The ex-Nazis were accused of killing the civilians in the Tuscan mountain village of Sant’Anna di Stazzema near Lucca on Aug. 12, 1944, a few days after the liberation of Florence by British troops.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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