Archive for Monday, August 19, 2002


August 19, 2002


India: Floods across Asia kill nearly 2,000

Deadly snakes slithered in floodwaters as 24 people in eastern India died from bites, drowning or being crushed by crumbling houses as raging floods wreaked havoc in South Asia, officials said Sunday.

The latest deaths in India's Bihar state mean 935 people in Bangladesh, India and Nepal have died since the monsoon season began in June. About 23 million people in the neighboring nations have been displaced.

In China, the death toll from summer storms approached 1,000 as torrential rains trigger landslides and floods, particularly in the central and southern provinces.

China plans to spend $17.3 billion on a project to control the unruly Yellow River, the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily said Sunday. The project is meant to stop flooding on China's second-longest river, which flows across the north of the country.

China has built hundreds of dams, river dikes and other projects to control flooding that kills hundreds of people every summer rainy season.

Philippines: Communists threaten to attack U.S. troops

Communist rebels could target Americans for attack if U.S. troops take a more active role in the Philippine army's campaign against insurgency, according to a rebel statement Sunday.

The communist rebels are claiming the United States may be planning direct involvement in offensives against them after the U.S. State Department last week included the Communist Party and its armed wing, the New People's Army, on its list of foreign terrorist organizations.

"The U.S. is bound to suffer growing casualties among American troops, who are all vulnerable targets of the tactical offensives of the people's army," Communist Party spokesman Gregorio Rosal said in an e-mail to journalists in northern Baguio city.

Zimbabwe: Police continue rounding up farmers

Ignoring court orders and Western condemnation, Zimbabwe's government stepped up its efforts to seize white-owned land Sunday and rounded up more farmers defying eviction notices.

A total of 147 farmers who failed to heed an Aug. 9 deadline to leave their farms have been arrested since Friday, police spokesman Andrew Phiri said.

The government of President Robert Mugabe plans to seize nearly 5,000 white owned farms, claiming they are to be distributed to landless blacks.

Mexico: Execution-style killings may be drug-related

Eight men and a woman were lined up against a wall and gunned down with assault rifles and pistols at a ranch in the western state of Michoacan in what reports published Sunday said might have been a drug-related massacre.

Police found a white powder, plastic bags like those used to package cocaine for retail sale, and unspecified equipment that may have been used in processing cocaine, state police told the newspaper La Jornada. Tests were continuing on the equipment and the powder to determine their nature.

The killings occurred in the remote rural township of Aquila. Impoverished farmers in the area reportedly grow small plots of marijuana, but the cocaine trade would be a relatively new development there.

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