Archive for Monday, September 6, 2004

Briefly

September 6, 2004

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New York

Clinton likely to have standard bypass surgery

Former President Bill Clinton's heart bypass, expected today, likely will be an ordinary replumbing of his ailing heart, not some new whiz-bang robotic or "keyhole" surgery, leading surgeons say.

A source close to the former president who spoke on condition of anonymity said Clinton had told him the surgery was scheduled for this morning.

Several surgeons uninvolved in Clinton's care said they didn't think his doctors would risk treating him with newer, experimental approaches like robotic surgery or laparoscopy, sometimes called keyhole surgery.

"With three-vessel disease in a president, I don't think I'd be doing it," said Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood, chief of cardiovascular surgery at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., and a spokesman for the American College of Cardiology.

Jerusalem

Israel begins construction of new barrier section

Israel began building a new section of its separation barrier in the southern West Bank on Sunday, days after two Palestinian suicide bombers from the area carried out the deadliest attack in nearly a year.

It was the first construction on the barrier in the southern part of the territory, and it revived Palestinian condemnations of the project. The 425-mile barrier is about one-third complete, all of it in the northern or central West Bank.

Israeli officials said the timing of the construction was unrelated to last week's suicide bombing in Beersheba, which killed 16 people. But they conceded that the attack, and a public outcry that followed, made construction more urgent.

Sudan

U.N. says violence forcing 3,000-4,000 villagers away

A U.N. spokesman on Sunday said the world body kept receiving reports of clashes continuing throughout Sudan's Darfur region, where up to 4,000 people are believed to have been forced from their villages in recent days.

The Sudanese government has been under intense international pressure to do more to end the violence in the western region, where a 19-month ethnic conflict has killed an estimated 30,000 people and driven more than 1 million from their homes.

"We keep receiving reports of insecurity in Darfur that is leading to the further displacement" of Darfurians from their homes, U.N. spokeswoman Radhia Achouri told The Associated Press.

Beijing

Flooding death toll up to 55

Rescuers in southwest China sought help from the military today as they searched for dozens of people missing in torrential floods. The death toll rose to 55, state media reported.

Days of heavy rain in Sichuan, a province prone to seasonal flooding, unleashed mudslides and mountain torrents that have trapped hundreds of people in their houses, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The downpours began Thursday and were forecast to last through Tuesday, the agency said.

The flooded area is about 700 miles southwest of Beijing.

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