- The Washington Times - Monday, June 25, 2007


Torrential rain kills hundreds

KARACHI — Torrential rains deluged this southern port city, collapsing mud homes, snapping power lines and killing at least 228 persons, officials said yesterday.

Karachi residents angry after a night without electricity to run fans or air conditioners in the sweltering summer heat staged street protests, Karachi Mayor Mustafa Kamal said.

The casualty figures from yesterday’s storms rose after 185 more bodies were counted in the city morgue, said Sardar Ahmed, health minister for Sindh province.


Rice seeks action on Darfur genocide

PARIS — The world has failed in its duty to end the violence in Sudan’s Darfur region, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday as she welcomed the fresh energy that France’s new conservative-led government has put to the cause.

She called the four-year-old conflict “one of the true humanitarian disasters that we face in international politics, and one the international community has simply got to act more quickly and more responsibly to stop.”

Miss Rice also welcomed a summit between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Egypt, classifying Arab support for embattled Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas more important than his Western backing. She acknowledged the difficulties that Mr. Abbas has faced since his Islamic rival, Hamas, won Palestinian elections last year.

“Democracy is hard,” she told reporters at a press conference with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

Miss Rice was in Paris for two days of meetings with the new French government and a strategy session on Darfur.

Mr. Kouchner organized the Darfur conference to speed deployment of about 20,000 peacekeeping troops to Darfur, a region where an estimated 200,000 have died in fighting between African rebels and militias backed by the Sudanese government.


Civilian deaths rise with coalition offensive

KABUL — U.S.-led coalition and NATO forces fighting insurgents in Afghanistan have killed at least 203 civilians so far this year — surpassing the 178 civilians killed in militant attacks, according to an Associated Press tally.

Insurgency attacks and military operations have surged in recent weeks, and in the past 10 days, more than 90 civilians were killed by air strikes and artillery fire targeting Taliban insurgents, said President Hamid Karzai.


Bird flu strikes goose, two swans

BERLIN — Three wild birds in Germany died of the feared H5N1 strain of bird flu, a health official in Nuremberg in southern Germany said yesterday.

Katja Guenther told Agence France-Presse that tests carried out by the Friedrich Loeffler Institute confirmed that two swans and a wild goose had been infected with the H5N1 strain of the virus.

She said tests were being conducted on seven other birds, mostly swans, that died of bird flu to see whether they too had been carriers of H5N1, which is potentially lethal to humans.


William and Kate reported back together

LONDON — Prince William and former girlfriend Kate Middleton have resumed their relationship, British news- papers reported yesterday.

The young couple, who announced in April that they had split, attended a party at an army barracks together earlier this month, newspapers claim.

Prince William, 25, has also invited Miss Middleton to attend a memorial concert to his late mother, Princess Diana, to be held Sunday, the Mail reported yesterday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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