Archive for Wednesday, July 4, 2001

World Briefs

July 4, 2001

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Nepal: Bodyguards fired over royal massacre

Four royal bodyguards have been fired over the massacre of the king, queen and seven others by Crown Prince Dipendra at a June 1 palace dinner.

The bodyguards were supposed to have been protecting the king, queen and crown prince. They, and two orderlies who worked for the prince who killed himself after shooting his family were fired Monday, the Nepal Samacharpatra newspaper reported, quoting palace sources.

Dipendra's bodyguards said they knew about his drug habits, but did not tell anyone and instead helped him obtain drugs, according to the report.

Royal bodyguards are soldiers picked from the Royal Nepal Army to serve in the special division that protects the royal family.

Vietnam: U.S. joins study on Agent Orange

Vietnamese and U.S. officials have agreed for the first time to work together to study the possible effects of Agent Orange, a powerful chemical defoliant used by the American military during the Vietnam War, the U.S. Embassy said Tuesday.

American and Vietnamese scientists agreed to set up a pilot study to screen soil and sediment for dioxin, a toxic component of Agent Orange, at a meeting this week in Hanoi. They also agreed to hold the first Vietnam-U.S. scientific conference on Agent Orange, tentatively scheduled for April 2002 in Vietnam.

Agent Orange exposure has been associated with cancer, birth defects and miscarriages, though a direct link to those health problems remains unproven.

The U.S. sprayed millions of gallons of the herbicide during the war to destroy jungle cover for enemy troops.

Colombia : Prison battle leaves at least 10 dead

A skirmish inside a Bogota prison between jailed guerrillas and inmates who refused to cooperate in a rebel escape plan left at least 10 inmates dead, officials said Tuesday.

Twenty-two inmates were wounded in a firefight, which erupted late Monday inside the La Modelo penitentiary, one of Colombia's most violent and overcrowded jails. Rival gangs fought using guns and fragmentation grenades, officials said.

The federal prison houses an explosive mix of inmates, including leftist rebels, rival rightist paramilitary members and drug traffickers. Corrupt guards look the other way as arms of all sorts are smuggled into the jail.

Gunshots and explosions were heard throughout the night before tapering off early Tuesday as guards forced their way into the conflictive wards. Some 2,000 police and troops surrounded the prison to prevent escapes.

London: Huge rose garden to honor Diana

British flower enthusiasts are planning to create what they say will be the world's largest rose garden to honor the late Princess Diana, they announced Tuesday.

The five-acre garden, expected to cost $28 million, will open in 2003 as part of the planned 50-acre Royal National Rose Garden in St. Albans, a London suburb.

"This will be the people's garden for the people's princess and will be a fitting and lasting tribute to England's rose," said Ken Grapes, director general of the Royal National Rose Society, which is creating the garden.

The Royal National Rose Garden will also include gardens honoring Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother Elizabeth.

The project will be funded by private donations and the sale of specially bred roses honoring the royals.

Officials announced last week that they would build a $4.2 million fountain in Diana's memory in London's Hyde Park.

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