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Archive for Sunday, July 15, 2001

World Briefs

July 15, 2001

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Mexico: Three Americans die when boat capsizes

A glass-bottom boat capsized off the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas, killing three American cruise ship passengers, Carnival Cruise Lines said Saturday.

Paulina Armijo, 54, of New Mexico; Elizabeth Steven, 64, of Alaska; and Dorothy Farnman, 32, whose home state was unknown, drowned Friday after the 18-foot-long boat capsized near the Stone Arch, a coastal landmark in the western state of Baja California. Their hometowns were not released.

Carnival said 17 passengers from its Elation cruise ship were aboard the locally operated water taxi when it capsized shortly after 9 a.m. The Elation had left Los Angeles on July 8 for a weeklong cruise in Mexican waters, the company said.

Seven other Carnival passengers were injured in the accident, but none seriously, said Cabo San Lucas Red Cross official Moises Ruiz.

Austria: Passenger train collision leaves twenty injured

Two passenger trains collided head-on Saturday at a railway station west of Vienna, injuring 20 people, four of them seriously, railroad officials and a Red Cross spokesman said.

One train was pulling out of Purkersdorf railroad station, six miles west of Vienna, when it crashed with another train that was entering the station.

Both trains were moving at between 13 and 19 miles per hour when they collided, a spokesman for the Austrian railroad system said. Several passengers were injured because they were standing to leave the train, while those injured on the other train were looking for seats when the crash occurred.

Brazil: Striking police officers agree to return to work

About a third of the 28,000 police officers on strike for higher pay in Brazil's northeastern Bahia state agreed Saturday to return to work after days of lawlessness caused by their absence.

Rioting and looting in the state capital of Salvador, 800 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro, in recent days had left at least four people dead, shops and supermarkets ransacked, a park destroyed and a police trailer burned. Police had refused to intervene.

Thousands of officers agreed to return to work after authorities released two police officers arrested for insubordination and reinstated 68 others who had been dismissed for involvement in the strike.

Police are demanding a starting salary of $480 a month, compared to their current $72 a month. The government is offering a raise of just over $7 a month.

Police strikes in Brazil are common.

South Africa: Homeless occupy government land

Thousands of homeless people briefly occupied government land Saturday near Cape Town, demanding they be given housing by the government.

The occupation came the same day authorities demolished the final shack on a plot of land outside Johannesburg that thousands of squatters began occupying about two weeks ago.

Thousands of people danced and began erecting shacks Saturday morning on land owned by the government in Macassar, near Cape Town.

Many squatters said they had become frustrated by the long wait for free government housing.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, the government has built 1.1 million low-cost homes, sheltering more than 5 million people. However, 7.5 million South Africans still lack proper homes.

After negotiations with local officials, the squatters removed their shacks and left the land.

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