Flooding Kills Scores

In Dominican Republic

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- At least 76 people, nearly half of them children, were killed when a rain-swollen river burst its banks and swept away dozens of homes in the western Dominican Republic on Monday, officials said.

Rescue workers searched for dozens more people missing in the flooded area near the Haitian border, but suspended their efforts for the day as darkness fell.

A local volunteer group, Citizens Taking Part, estimated 200 people had died after the Jimani river burst its banks and swirled into a dry river valley near the town of Jimani, a spokesman for the group said.

But government officials said that the official death toll so far stood at 76, including 34 children. About 125 injured people had been taken to hospitals in the area.

The flood waters hurtled through an area of poor homes before dawn as families slept, witnesses said. Government officials estimated about 100 homes were swept away.

The Americas

* HAVANA -- Cuba's government reopened dollar-only stores, which sell items ranging from cigarettes to refrigerators, two weeks after abruptly closing them to raise prices because of U.S. measures designed to squeeze the island's economy.

The government imposed price increases of up to 25 percent for alcohol, 22 percent for gas and 15 percent for electrical goods in the 5,000 stores that accept payment only in dollars, according to the Communist Party daily Granma.


* BUCHAREST, Romania -- About 15 people were killed and 12 injured in southeast Romania when a truck carrying ammonia overturned and exploded, according to police and news reports.

Two journalists from private television Antena 1, were killed in the blast as they tried to film firefighters and police rushing to the scene in Mihailesti, about 43 miles from Bucharest. The state Rompres news agency said five firefighters were also killed.


* BLANTYRE, Malawi -- Former president Bakili Muluzi's handpicked successor was sworn in as opposition supporters waged running street battles with police over the results of this impoverished country's third multi-party elections. Witnesses said at least four people were killed when security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas to break up rioting that erupted Sunday when Bingu wa Mutharika was declared the winner of Thursday's vote.


* CHANDPUR, Bangladesh -- The death toll from the sinking of two ferries in southeastern Bangladesh climbed to 60, as rescuers searched for about 140 people still missing after the boats capsized Sunday in a tropical storm, officials said.

-- From News Services