- The Washington Times - Monday, February 26, 2007


Evacuation planned if flooding worsens

TRINIDAD — The Bolivian government is drawing plans to evacuate this northeastern city of more than 90,000 inhabitants if devastating flooding worsens, President Evo Morales said Sunday.

The country’s worst floods in 25 years have isolated Trinidad and killed about three dozen people.

“We have instructed the authorities to draft a plan to evacuate Trinidad in case the water keeps rising, because if the water flows over the dike, the whole of Trinidad will be under water,” Mr. Morales said during a trip to the Cochabamba region.


Land mines still pose dangers

SAN FERNANDO — In the steep, pine-covered hills of northern Nicaragua, grade-schoolers get a workbook that looks like any other, but it doesn’t say, “See Spot run.”

It tells of a woman hearing an explosion and her son running to tell her that La Hormiga, her favorite cow, has been killed by a land mine. Land mines have killed 82 persons and injured 905 since 1990, when Nicaragua’s civil war ended, Daniel Ortega and his Sandinistas were defeated in the polls, and the U.S.-funded Contras put down their arms.


Rio hotel roof collapses; 2 killed

RIO DE JANEIRO — At least two persons were killed and 10 injured yesterday when the roof over the entrance of a hotel near Copacabana beach collapsed, rescue workers said.

The three-star Hotel Canada is on busy Nossa Senhora de Copacabana Avenue, parallel to the beachside Avenida Atlantica, popular with tourists, and the city is still full of tourists after last week’s Carnival celebrations.

“We don’t know if the people were just passing by or were guests at the hotel. There is a chance of finding more victims under the rubble; we’re trying to lift the collapsed roof,” said a spokesman for the fire service.

Weekly notes …

An Italian businessman being held in Argentina and wanted for questioning in India in a high-profile arms scandal has been released from custody, a federal judge announced yesterday. Judge Mariana Arjol said an appeals court in Misiones province ordered the conditional release of Ottavio Quattrocchi after he was detained by Argentine authorities on Feb. 6 at an airport in Puerto Iguazu. … Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said yesterday he will reshuffle only a small part of his Cabinet and that delays in talks with coalition parties are not holding up government projects. “There won’t be much change. [I] may change some names, but most of the parties … are already totally represented in government,” he said in his weekly morning radio address.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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