after typhoon, LANDSLIDES kill at least 160
More than 160 people have died after a series of landslides caused by Typhoon Parma buried dozens of houses in the northern Philippines, officials said Friday. The number of fatalities was certain to rise as rescue efforts in several provinces had barely begun. Heavy rains brought by the typhoon also caused several dams to overflow, forcing the authorities to release excess water that ended up inundating dozens of towns, particularly in the plains of central Luzon, the main Philippine island in the north. The latest natural disaster came almost two weeks after Typhoon Ketsana left nearly 300 people dead.
Plane crash kills 11 U.N. peacekeepers
A surveillance plane assigned to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti crashed into a mountain Friday, killing all 11 military personnel on board, United Nations spokeswoman Michele Montas said in Geneva. The aircraft went down in rugged terrain near the border with the Dominican Republic. The victims were Uruguayan and Jordanian military personnel serving with the 9,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force that has been in the country since a 2004 rebellion ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Remains of Mother Teresa, king sought
Albania wants the remains of Nobel Peace laureate Mother Teresa and the only postindependence monarch to be returned to the country, Prime Minister Sali Berisha said Friday. Mother Teresa's remains are in India and King Ahmet Zog's in France. Macedonia and Albania both claim the national identity of Mother Teresa, who was born in Macedonia to an ethnic Albanian family. She went to Calcutta, India, in 1929, and later became a citizen. She died in 1997. Zog ruled from 1928 to 1939, when he fled after Albania's occupation by fascist Italy. He died in 1961 and is buried near Paris.
Rights debate on Gaza pushed
Ibrahim Khraishi, the Palestinian Authority's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said Friday the authority is pushing to bring forward a U.N. Human Rights Council debate on alleged war crimes committed by Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in Gaza this year. Last week, the authority had agreed to delay debating a U.N. report on the conflict until March. Khraishi's comments appear to indicate an effort by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to deflect criticism for agreeing to delay debate on the fighting in Gaza. Israeli officials in Geneva could not be reached for comment.
Myanmar: The military government allowed jailed pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to hold a rare meeting with foreign diplomats on Friday as part of what appears to be early but tentative signs of a detente between the junta and Western governments.
Iraq: Jamal Humadi, a Sunni cleric known for denouncing al-Qaida in Iraq and other insurgent groups, was killed Friday by a bomb that ripped apart his car, a police official said, in the second targeted attack on a religious figure in as many weeks.
Turkmenistan: The reclusive Central Asian nation has denied entry to 47 volunteers from the U.S. government-run Peace Corps volunteers, the organization's country director said Friday.