Archive for Wednesday, May 21, 2003


May 21, 2003


Geneva: WHO advances anti-tobacco accord

The World Health Organization gave its preliminary approval Tuesday to a treaty that would severely curtail tobacco advertising around the world and try to keep companies from marketing tobacco products to teenagers.

The treaty today goes to the full World Health Assembly meeting, where approval is considered a formality. The treaty takes effect after 40 countries have ratified it.

The United States has pledged to sign the treaty.

Sri Lanka: Government seeking international flood aid

Sri Lanka needs international assistance in the aftermath of its worst flooding in five decades, which has killed at least 300 people and left an estimated 150,000 people homeless, the government said Tuesday.

Another 200 people are missing, including many buried by landslides during the weekend deluge, officials said. At least 60,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed in three districts.

The United States pledged a $50,000 emergency grant and was sending an official from the U.S. Agency for International Development to Sri Lanka to help, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said.

Congo: New atrocity reports include cannibalism

New evidence of atrocities surfaced Tuesday in a northeastern Congo region that has been riven by tribal fighting, while French military officers arrived to assess deploying peacekeepers there.

Aid workers said Tuesday they had found 231 bodies of people killed since May 4 on the streets of Bunia, some decapitated, others with their hearts, livers and lungs missing.

U.N. officials already are investigating reports that acts of cannibalism were carried out during the clashes.

Aid workers warned the death toll may rise because they have searched only nine of the town's 12 neighborhoods.

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