Sat, Sep 03, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Australia

`Dr Death' inquiry closes

An inquiry into an Australian hospital's director of surgery, dubbed "Dr Death" by staff after he was linked to 87 patient deaths, was shut down yesterday after a court ruled the inquiry chief was biased. The A$6 million (US$4.5 million) inquiry, called to examine problems in the health system in Australia's tropical Queensland state, had four witnesses and 10 days left to run. Its interim report in May said Dr Jayant Patel, linked to 87 deaths in northern Queensland, should face murder and fraud charges.

■ Military
Guard troops due soon

The US military expects to put 30,000 National Guard troops on duty in the Gulf states as demands grow for more security and relief assistance, the commander-in-charge of military relief and rescue efforts said on Thursday. About 24,000 of those will be on the ground in Louisiana and Mississippi in the next three days, Army Lieutenant General Russel Honore said. He also ordered the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan from the Louisiana coast to waters off Biloxi, Mississippi, to assist with hurricane relief operations there.

■ Disaster relief

Clinton, Bush Snr. team up

Former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush are to lead the fundraising campaign for Hurricane Katrina's huge humanitarian effort, reprising a role they played with some success after the Asian tsunami. Americans responded generously to the disaster appeals made by the pair, whose political rivalries dissolved into an unlikely but genuine friendship. By asking the two to team up once more, the White House hopes for a similar reaction and donations of hundreds of millions of dollars. More than US$82 million has been raised so far, according to the Washington-based Chronicle of Philanthropy, which monitors charitable giving.

■ Internet

Web site becomes aid site

When Katrina Blankenship of Powhatan, Virginia, started getting phone calls about the projected path of Hurricane Katrina, she wasn't quite sure why. But it was her Web site, Katrina.com, that got people's attention. So Blankenship converted her personal Web design and computer consulting site into a one-stop shop for all things related to helping out the hurricane-ravaged South. Since Sunday, the Web site has received about 350,000 hits from places all over the world. Blankenship has compiled links to other sites that provide shelter information and victim assistance and developed a forum for people to offer help and to search for missing people.

■ Celebrities

Fats Domino rescued

Rock 'n' roll pioneer Fats Domino has been rescued from the floodwaters of his New Orleans hometown, allaying fears that he may have perished in the grim aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The 77-year-old musician, who had told friends that he planned to ride out the storm, was rescued on Monday night, agencies said. AP quoted his daughter, Karen Domino White, who lives in New Jersey and identified her father from a newspaper photograph showing a man being helped out of a boat by authorities.

■ Gas prices

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