SAO PAULO, Brazil – Rescue workers seized a window of clear skies Sunday to resume searching for victims of devastating floods that have...
SAO PAULO, Brazil – Rescue workers seized a window of clear skies Sunday to resume searching for victims of devastating floods that have killed 110 people and ravaged more than a dozen cities in southern Brazil.
Heavy rains subsided, allowing authorities to continue looking for 19 people thought to be missing across Santa Catarina state and to boost aid to some 80,000 people whom floods have driven from their homes in the past week.
Bad weather had grounded air force helicopters on Saturday, slowing rescue efforts. Rains are forecast to resume in coming days, increasing the risk of mudslides.
The floods had killed 110 people as of Sunday morning, the state's civil defense department said. Nine bodies were pulled from beneath the mud and rubble the day before.
BOGOTA, Colombia – Ingrid Betancourt, back home in Colombia for the first time since her July rescue, said Saturday that she would spend the week visiting South American leaders to thank them for their efforts to secure her release.
Betancourt, who met with President Alvaro Uribe after arriving from Europe, said that though she is "neither a mediator nor a facilitator" she would do her all to try to secure freedom for the rebel-held hostages she left behind in Colombia's jungles.
"Contacts are frozen and a way has to be found to reach the FARC," she said of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which kidnapped and held her for six years.
The world's most celebrated former hostage also told a news conference that she was thrilled by U.S. President-elect Barack Obama victory.
BEIJING – Organized gambling on horse races has returned to mainland China for the first time since the ruling Communist Party seized power in 1949, state media reported.
The central city of Wuhan in Hubei province held a trial horse racing event Saturday in which spectators could bet on four races at the Orient Lucky City racecourse, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
It is illegal to gamble in mainland China. The Communists deemed gambling a major vice, along with opium, when they came to power, and made a priority of eliminating them.
Xinhua said spectators were allowed to place two bets for free and winners received 20 lottery tickets issued by the local sports lottery administration.
Wang Shenshun, deputy head of the city's sports administration, said Saturday's races were meant to test the racecourse, betting rules and organization, according to the report.