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Wildfire breaks out at Walt Disney World



Published: Sat, May 19, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Wildfire breaks outat Walt Disney World

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A brush fire erupted at Walt Disney World on Friday afternoon but was quickly contained by helicopters that were working on another blaze outside the theme park, authorities said.

No evacuations were ordered and no injuries reported. No buildings were damaged.

The 10-acre fire began in the woods near the Epcot Center parking lot, said Bo Jones of the Reedy Creek Fire Department. Disney spokeswoman Rene Callahan said the area was not accessible to tourists.

Firefighting helicopters were diverted from a 350-acre fire about two miles from Disney and dropped water on the flames, stopping their spread.

Man sentencedin Central Park assaults

NEW YORK -- A man convicted of groping women in Central Park after a Puerto Rican Day parade drew five years in prison Friday, the harshest sentence of anyone arrested in the free-for-all last June.

Abel Ortiz, 24, was the last of the defendants in the case.

More than 50 women were molested during the tumult. Most of those who testified at Ortiz's trial said they were doused with water, their clothes ripped off, and their breasts, buttocks and genitals groped.

The activities of Ortiz and others were captured on shaky, hand-held video shot by amateurs in the park.

He was convicted April 2 of riot, sex abuse and assault.

"The video shows your participation, directing men to where the women were," Justice Bernard Fried told Ortiz. "This was like a human fire burning out of control. You fueled the riot and kept it going."

Of the 30 men who were charged, 18 pleaded guilty or were convicted, and one was acquitted. Charges against 11 were dismissed.

UNESCO honors worldcultural traditions

PARIS -- A near-extinct Amazon culture, Sicilian puppet theater and Korean royal ancestral rites were declared "masterpieces of intangible heritage" Friday by UNESCO.

The new distinction, designed to help preserve popular and traditional culture, complements UNESCO's 29-year-old World Heritage List, a compilation of precious natural and cultural sites, such as the Statue of Liberty.

The 19 "masterpieces" designated Friday reflect "the diversity of human genius," UNESCO head Koichiro Matsuura said.

They were chosen based on the threat to their extinction as well as their cultural value, Matsuura said. The designation makes them eligible for international funds.

The Garifuna language, now only taught as a mother tongue in one village in Belize and threatened by urbanization, was designated for preservation.

UNESCO also recognized the need to protect the culture and oral heritage of the Zapara people of Ecuador and Peru, whose population is estimated at fewer than 300 people -- only five of them fluent in their indigenous language.

86 passengers killed

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Passengers were forced to jump into the sea at gunpoint after the cargo boat they were traveling in developed engine problems, a radio operator and local journalists said Friday. At least 86 people were reported killed.

An official in the coastal Somaliland village of Lasqory confirmed the incident, journalists said. The official, Mohamed Aden Issa, said that 70 passengers survived, but said five of them died Friday of malnutrition.

The boat left the Bosaso port in the northeastern region of Puntland 10 days ago with more than 150 people aboard, the radio operator said. It was headed to Yemen, he said.

A fishing boat later towed the vessel from the Gulf of Aden to Lasqory with the survivors on board, the operator said from Lasqory, communicating by two-way VHF radio.

The crew's whereabouts were not known, according to Issa.

Mass grave probed

LIMA, Peru -- Investigators have confirmed the existence of a dozen mass graves with the bodies of about 120 people slain in fighting in the early 1980s in the central Andes, a government official said Friday.

The graves, found earlier this week near the village of Totos, 205 miles southeast of Lima, hold the bodies of those slain in fighting between security forces and leftist guerrillas, said Rocio Vargas, a regional representative of Peru's ombudsman's office.

She said testimonies from villagers suggest that soldiers stationed in a makeshift outpost in the early 1980s were responsible for the killings, but added that an investigation was still under way.

Associated Press




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