WHO Projects Higher Toll in Darfur Camps

GENEVA -- At least 70,000 refugees have died since March because of poor conditions in camps in Sudan's Darfur region, and more will die at the same rate unless countries contribute the $300 million in aid they promised, the U.N. health agency said Friday.

The new death toll estimate by the World Health Organization is 20,000 higher than one it released last month.

The estimate of deaths in and around the camps covers only the period since aid agencies have had access to the western Sudan region, said David Nabarro, WHO's head of crisis operations. WHO is unable to estimate how many people have died from violence, including militia and government attacks on villages or fleeing refugees, he said.

So far, the United Nations has received only half of the $300 million it needs for Darfur, he said.

The conflict has forced 1.4 million villagers from their homes. More than 200,000 have crossed into neighboring Chad, where tensions have risen over scarce resources.

ASIA

* TOKYO -- Peru submitted a new request to the Japanese government seeking the extradition of former president Alberto Fujimori so he can face corruption and embezzlement charges, according to officials at the Peruvian Embassy in Japan.

The latest request -- presented to the Japanese Embassy in Lima -- marks the second attempt by Peruvian authorities to win the return of Fujimori, who sought exile here in November 2000 to escape a corruption scandal at home. Peruvian officials first requested Fujimori's extradition in July 2003 on murder charges, alleging that the son of Japanese immigrants to Peru had ordered the massacre of 23 people early in his 1990-2000 presidency.

Japan, which has no extradition treaty with Peru, has so far rebuffed all efforts to extradite Fujimori, who has been granted citizenship here. Fujimori has denied all allegations against him, claiming political persecution.

-- Anthony Faiola

THE AMERICAS

* ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada -- Former president Jimmy Carter urged the United States and other international lenders to forgive part of Grenada's debt, saying the Caribbean country needed the money to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Ivan. Carter, wrapping up a two-day visit, said he would lobby the United States, Britain, Kuwait, Taiwan, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other lenders to grant debt relief to Grenada.

* BRASILIA -- Beginning Sunday, Brazil's air force will be allowed to shoot down small planes suspected of carrying drugs under a law meant to stem the flow of cocaine into the country. The planes use clandestine landing strips in the vast Amazon rain forest. Only Colombia has a similar law.

* SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- A former Costa Rican president, Miguel Angel Rodriguez, returned home a week after he was ousted as chief of the Organization of American States, and was slapped in handcuffs and led off for questioning on allegations that he took kickbacks.

THE AMERICAS

* ROME -- Italy's highest criminal court acquitted Giulio Andreotti, a former prime minister, of charges that he colluded with the Mafia during his long political career. It was the final judgment in a decade-long case that had gripped the country.

The Court of Cassation upheld a May 2003 ruling by a lower appeals court that there was insufficient evidence to convict Andreotti, now a senator for life.

AFRICA

* TRIPOLI, Libya -- Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, in the first visit to Libya by a German head of government, praised its leader, Moammar Gaddafi, for bringing about a "remarkable" change in the course of a country once shunned for its support of terrorism.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports