Archive for Saturday, December 30, 2000

World briefs

December 30, 2000



Ferry crash kills dozens

A ferry carrying about 400 passengers collided with another boat in dense fog and sank early Friday in southeastern Bangladesh, authorities said. At least 78 people were killed and many more were unaccounted for.

Details were sketchy about the collision, which happened before dawn while most passengers were sleeping. Some swam about 550 yards to shore, but with swift currents, officials said others may have drowned and washed downstream.

Rescuers had recovered 78 bodies from the River Meghna in Chandpur, 40 miles from the capital, Dhaka. The number of survivors was not immediately known.


Lawmaker assassinated

Gunmen shot and killed a lawmaker who headed a peace committee in Colombia's congress, his mother and four bodyguards, police said. Leftist guerrillas were immediately blamed for Friday's attack.

The assailants stopped an armored four-wheel drive vehicle carrying Rep. Diego Turbay and the others in southern Caqueta State, and sprayed it with automatic weapons fire, National Police Gen. Alfredo Salgado said. "They were forced to stop and executed," Salgado said, blaming the killing on Colombia's largest guerrilla army, the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

The group was apparently heading along a highway from the state capital, Florencia, to the town of Puerto Rico, where they were to attend an inaugural ceremony for the town's newly elected mayor.


State election annulled

Mexico's highest electoral authority annulled a key gubernatorial election due to irregularities Friday, delivering a fresh blow to the former ruling party, analysts said.

In a 4-2 decision, the Federal Electoral Judicial Tribunal ruled that the Oct. 15 balloting in the southern state of Tabasco was riddled with irregularities that gave the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, an unfair advantage. The incumbent PRI won the state by just 1 percent of the vote.

The acting president of the tribunal, Jose Luis de la Peza, said the evidence presented "leads me to the conclusion that an indeterminate number of voters had their right to vote corrupted."

For example, the opposition argued that one government-run television station devoted 87 percent of its election coverage to PRI candidate Manuel Andrade.

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