Tue, 08 Mar 2005

From: Jawawa

A prison fire in eastern Dominican Republic on early Monday killed at least 118 inmates, the state prosecutor general said. Twenty-six other people were injured in the inferno, said Prosecutor General Francisco Dominguez Brito. "At the moment there are 118 dead prisoners, although there could be more," Dominguez Brito said. The fire broke out amid a quarrel between inmates at dawn in a wing of Higuey prison, 150 kilometers east of the capital Santo Domingo. "Preliminary investigations say a person who smuggled a firearm into the jail was confronted with another person with a machete," Dominguez Brito said. The inmates then used insecticides and other substances that caught fire, he added. -- AFP

Victims sue Thailand, U.S., Accor over tsunami

U.S. and Austrian lawyers have filed a lawsuit demanding Thailand, U.S. forecasters and the French Accor group answer accusations they failed in a duty to warn populations hit by December's Tsunami disaster, a lawyer said on Monday. The lawsuit was filed on Friday at a New York district court on behalf of tsunami victims by lawyers including U.S. attorney Edward Fagan, internationally renowned for 1990s lawsuits against Swiss banks over Holocaust-era accounts. It demanded an account of their actions on Dec. 26. "We expect a hearing within 30 days," Austrian lawyer Gerhard Podovsovnik told Reuters. "We don't earn any money on the lawsuit. We want to help people," he said. "We are suing to get information." -- Reuters