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hDemonstrators target W.Va. mountaintop mining



Published: Sat, July 30, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



hDemonstrators targetW.Va. mountaintop mining

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Chad Cordell, dressed as U.S. Rep Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., checks out Vivian Stockman as "King Coal" pulling the strings of her Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Stephanie Timmermeyer puppet during a demonstration by opponents of mountaintop mining. The protest was Saturday at the state capitol complex in Charleston.

Pentagon: Uzbekistanwants U.S. base to leave

WASHINGTON -- Uzbekistan has issued an eviction notice to a U.S. air base that has been used since 2001 to stage military and humanitarian operations in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said Saturday. The notice, delivered Friday to the U.S. Embassy in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, gives the United States six months to comply, Pentagon spokesman Glenn Flood said. The bottom line is, they want us out," Flood said. The Uzbek government increasingly has bristled at the U.S. military presence, especially since the State Department joined international allies in calling for an inquiry into the shooting deaths of several hundred people during a rally in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon in May. Uzbek authorities describe the rally as a violent uprising that left 187 people dead. Witnesses and human-rights groups say the gathering was an anti-government protest and that security forces killed more than 500 people when they fired into the crowd.

Private-prison industryundergoes a rebound

NEW YORK -- Though state governments are no longer fueling a private-prison boom, the industry's major companies are upbeat -- thanks in large measure to a surge of business from federal agencies seeking to house fast-rising numbers of criminals and detained aliens. Since 2000, the number of federal inmates in private facilities -- prisons and halfway houses -- has increased by two-thirds to more than 24,000. Thousands more detainees not convicted of crimes are confined in for-profit facilities, which now hold roughly 14 percent of all federal prisoners, compared to less than 6 percent of state inmates. Critics, including prisoners rights groups and unionized corrections officers, contend the policy amounts to a federal bailout of an industry that would otherwise be struggling with a checkered record.

Police search landfill

ORANJESTAD, Aruba -- Police and volunteers used heavy equipment, shovels and trained dogs Saturday to pick through a landfill where a witness claimed he saw men dumping a female body two days after an Alabama teenager vanished. The landfill is on the southern part of the Dutch Caribbean island, the opposite side from where Natalee Holloway was last seen May 30. The witness claimed he saw the men dumping the body on the afternoon of June 1, said Tim Miller, director of Texas EquuSearch, which is coordinating the landfill search. The FBI and Aruban police have questioned the witness, an Aruban man who claimed to be dropping off trash at the time, Miller said. "He said he saw a face, blond hair and a woman's chest, and that the body was dumped and covered," Miller said.

Residents demand cleanup

BOMBAY, India -- Hundreds of angry demonstrators blocked traffic for hours Saturday to demand restoration of drinking water and electricity and clearing of rotting animal carcasses after last week's monsoon rains in western India. Officials said the death toll could reach 1,000. Rescuers found more than 100 bodies in the debris of collapsed homes Saturday, bringing the official death toll from the devastating floods in Bombay and the surrounding Maharashtra state to 853. They fear more bodies are buried in remote areas, and the death toll could increase by 100 to 150, said Chief Secretary Prem Kumar, the state's top bureaucrat. Kumar said rescue work was mostly over and officials were focussing on relief.

Combined dispatches




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