- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 14, 2007

NEPAL

Landslides kill at least 20

KATMANDU — At least 20 persons have been killed in landslides triggered by torrential monsoon rains in western Nepal, officials said yesterday.

“Fifteen dead bodies have been recovered from Gwalichaur village after landslides Thursday night,” said police officer Bal Krishna Sharma, from Baglung district 110 miles west of Katmandu.

Another five persons were killed Thursday night in a landslide in Bartola village in Bajura district, 262 miles west of the capital.

INDIA

Kashmir violence falls to record low

SRINAGAR — The average daily death toll from insurgency-related violence in Indian Kashmir has fallen to its lowest level since the uprising began nearly 18 years ago, officials said on Thursday.

Daily killings have dropped to two from 10 in 2001 and a peak of 13 in 1996 when the violence was at its height with daily bomb explosions, gunbattles and ambushes, according to official police records in Indian Kashmir.

The fall in daily deaths comes against the backdrop of a slow-moving peace process between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India, each of which hold the region in part and claim it in full.

INEPAL

All funding cut for embattled king

KATMANDU — Nepal’s interim government cut off all state allowances to unpopular King Gyanendra and his family in the annual budget revealed on Thursday.

The $2.6 billion budget presented to parliament by Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat for the financial year beginning on July 17 makes no provision for the king.

In 2006/07 the royal palace received $3.1 million in allowances.

Gyanendra was forced to renounce absolute rule last year. The Maoists are now part of the interim government. An interim constitution written in January gives no role to the king. The 774 palace employees would have their salaries paid out of the government’s miscellaneous account.

INDIA

Pregnancy registry set to save girls

NEW DELHI — India plans to create a registry of all pregnancies to help curb widespread female feticide and reduce its infant mortality rate, officials said, although activists say the scheme will be hard to implement.

At the same time it aims to promote safe deliveries at health centers and hospitals, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said, with the help of thousands of state-funded accredited social health activists in rural areas.

More than half of women deliver children at home, and with many people strongly preferring boys, around 10 million girls have been killed by their parents in the past 20 years, the government says.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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