Tue, Jun 15, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

US military divisions and brigades will continue to operate their own short-term detention facilities

■ United Nations

Flooding seen increasing

Devastating floods will affect about 2 billion people by 2050 because of climate change, deforestation, rising sea levels and population growth in flood-prone lands, the United Nations University said in a study released Sunday. The UN University, a think tank for the world organization based in Tokyo, says in the study that already 1 billion people, or one-sixth of the world's population, live in lands known for recurring floods. The study was released to coincide with the opening today in Bonn of the UN University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), which studies natural disasters.

■ Belgium

Dutroux hearings end

Jurors at the trial of child rapist Marc Dutroux were set to retire to consider their verdict starting yesterday as hearings into abductions, abuse and murders neared an end. The jury will pass judgement on the former electrician and his three co-accused. Dutroux faces life in jail if convicted. While he has confessed to kidnapping and rape in the mid-1990s, he denies murder. The other three are charged with offenses including abduction, rape and drug-dealing, and face sentences of up to 30 years. Dutroux was arrested by police hunting for a missing girl, Laetitia Delhez, 14. She and Sabine Dardenne, then aged 12, were rescued from the dungeon built by Dutroux.

■ United States

Handcuffed escapee found

A handcuffed theft suspect who escaped officers by stealing an unmarked police car was captured Wednesday while hiding under a bed, police said. David Smith, 27, was originally arrested Tuesday night after he was pulled over while riding a motorcycle, then failed to produce a driver's license and a vehicle registration, police said. While the officer waited for backup, Smith worked his handcuffed hands in front of him, got into the front seat and drove away, police said. Investigators tracked the suspect to a New Orleans home and found Smith hiding under a bed. Smith was booked with attempted murder of a police officer for striking the officer with the stolen police car, among other charges.

■ United States

Ring found after decades

Ann Cummings, 69, of Peculiar, Missouri, got a surprise gift for her 50th wedding anniversary: the engagement ring she lost 45 years ago. ``I never thought I'd see that ring again,'' she said. ``I made my husband buy me a metal detector,'' said Cummings, who dug holes all over the yard in a search of the ring. When cards left at Saturday's party were opened, a ring was found. Cummings doesn't know who left it, and she says she doesn't care: ``We have decided that whoever returned it is an angel."

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