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Archive for Saturday, September 23, 2000

World Briefs

September 23, 2000

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Nova Scotia

Titanic rescue ship found

The wreck of Carpathia, the ship that rescued passengers of the Titanic, is intact and sitting upright at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, according to video images released for the first time Friday.

The wreck, which was found May 27, rests 500 feet beneath the Atlantic Ocean in waters 120 miles south of Fastnet, Ireland.

The Carpathia was the first ship on the scene after the Titanic sank in 1912. It raced at high speeds through waters filled with icebergs to reach the survivors. Its crew pulled 705 men, women and children from lifeboats bobbing in the icy water.

On July 17, 1918, during the First World War, the Carpathia was traveling in a convoy from England to Boston when it was struck by two torpedoes from a German U-boat and began to sink. A third torpedo hit the ship as the lifeboats were being manned. Five crewmembers died, while the rest of the crew was rescued.

At a news conference Friday in Halifax, the documentary film company Eco-Nova productions presented film showing the Carpathia intact and sitting upright at the bottom of the sea. There are huge tears in the side of the ship's hull and the boilers appear to have exploded as the ship sank.

Philippines

Rebels, hostages spotted

Military troops used cannons Friday to pound areas of a southern Philippine island where Muslim rebels were sighted fleeing with their hostages toward coastal areas, officials said.

Two factions of Abu Sayyaf rebels, each with hostages, were headed toward the coast of Jolo island, apparently in an attempt to leave the island and escape a heavy military assault, the officials said.

One of the 17 hostages, American Jeffrey Schilling, criticized the assault Friday during a satellite telephone call to a radio station, calling it "the biggest threat to my life."

He asked the government to halt the attack and "hurry up and conduct negotiations so I can be released as soon as possible."

President Joseph Estrada's government has been embarrassed by criticism of the rescue assault from several foreign countries and two French journalists who escaped from the rebels earlier this week. All said the assault could endanger the lives of the hostages.

Several Philippine officials accused Schilling of parroting his captors' views and growing sympathetic to their cause.

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