- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Hurricane Jimena buffets Cabo

LOS CABOS | Hurricane Jimena, an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, slammed Mexico’s Baja California peninsula Tuesday, drenching the Los Cabos resort area where tourists hunkered down in boarded-up hotels.

Sheets of rain poured down from gray skies as Jimena’s howling winds hit the tip of the peninsula, home to world-class golf courses, yachting marinas and five-star hotels. The hurricane was set to make landfall Wednesday in a sparsely populated area farther up the peninsula.

Hotels nailed boards over their windows, wrapped exposed furniture with plastic and turned conference rooms into storm shelters with camp bedding and board games.

Residents, many of them poor hotel workers or builders, huddled in shelters. Torrential rain flooded main roads, turned streets in one shantytown into muddy rivers and caused a sewage system in the town of San Jose del Cabo to overflow. Many tourists were trapped as flights out were canceled.


40 militants killed in Khyber raids

PESHAWAR | Government forces destroyed four militant bases and killed 40 insurgents Tuesday in a new offensive near Pakistan’s famed Khyber Pass, the main route for supplies to U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, authorities said.

The offensive follows a suicide blast in the region Sunday that killed 19 police officers at a key border crossing.

Tariq Hayat, the top administrator in Khyber, told reporters 40 militants were killed and 43 arrested. The four destroyed bases belonged to the militant group Lashkar-e-Islam, he said. The death toll could not be independently verified.

Elsewhere in the northwest, the army claimed 105 Pakistani Taliban fighters had surrendered in the Swat Valley.


Violent protests over sewage plant

BEIJING | Protests drawing up to 10,000 people flared in eastern China over a powerful stench from a sewage-treatment plant with 10 people hurt in clashes, residents and a human rights monitor said Tuesday.

The demonstration occurred Monday when angry villagers from Fujian province’s Fengwei town confronted 2,000 riot police over a wastewater treatment plant that had fouled local air and water, Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said.

At least 10 people were injured when the demonstrations turned violent and riot police fired warning shots. Two police cars were smashed and protesters took several government officials and factory workers hostage.


Commonwealth suspends island

LONDON | The Commonwealth said Tuesday it has suspended Fiji after the Pacific Island nation failed to meet a deadline for opening talks on a return to democracy.

Fiji had already been suspended from meetings of the grouping of 53 nations, mostly former British colonies. The tougher sanction means that Fiji is not eligible for technical assistance from the Commonwealth and may not take part in Commonwealth sporting events.

In April, Fiji’s president reappointed coup leader Frank Bainimarama as interim prime minister, less than two days after a court ruled his 2006 coup illegal.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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