World briefs 5/25/04

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Canadian prime minister calls June 28 elections

OTTAWA -- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, who took office when his predecessor retired, called general elections for June 28 in a bid to win his own mandate. But he could face a tough test with support for his Liberal Party hit by a patronage scandal. Polls suggest that rising support for Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper could stick Canada with a minority government. Under that scenario, the Liberals would get the most seats in Parliament, but would need other party support to pass legislation.

Floods leave at least 44 dead in Caribbean

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Floodwaters swept through a Dominican Republic farming town, killing at least 40 people and leaving scores missing, official said Monday. Dozens of bodies were piled in a hospital's makeshift morgue in the western town of Jimani near the Haitian border. The actual morgue was destroyed by the floodwaters. Torrential rains caused the Solie River to jump its banks Sunday night and roar through a Jimani neighborhood, sweeping away dozens of houses, National Emergency Commission director Radhames Lora Salcedo told The Associated Press.

Philippine election officials: Arroyo wins

MANILA, Philippines -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo won a narrow victory over her movie star rival in the May 10 vote, national election officials said Monday, although her opponent claimed massive fraud. Arroyo put the military on full alert to prevent the vote count from being influenced by "mob rule," her spokesman said. Elections officials said the count showed Arroyo with 39.5 percent of the vote to Fernando Poe Jr.'s 36.6 percent.

Bangladesh ferry accident death toll rises to 60

CHANDPUR, Bangladesh -- The death toll from a weekend ferry accident in southeastern Bangladesh climbed to 60 on Monday, as rescuers searched for more than 100 people still missing after the boat capsized in a tropical storm. The double-deck ferry capsized Sunday near Chandpur town with about 250 people aboard. The Shipping Ministry ordered an investigation into the sinking.

-- From wire reports

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