Recovering from the massive flooding in Europe will cost $14 billion in Germany alone, officials said. Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was meeting with leaders of neighboring European Union states and the EU's executive commission amid concerns that the cost of the recovery would put his government outside the union's budget rules. The floods are blamed for at least 105 deaths. Above, a Freital, Germany, resident passes a house washed off its foundation by the flooding.
More than $17 billion will be spent on a massive project to control China's Yellow River, an official newspaper reported, as heavy flooding there pushed the casualty count to just under 1,000 deaths. The project could take 10 years to complete. Meanwhile, at least 935 people have died in flooding in eastern India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, authorities said.
A $40 billion deal covering trade and economic cooperation with Iraq will be signed as soon as it is ready, senior Russian officials said. Analysts said the agreement could further complicate US aims to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Iraq owes the Kremlin billions in Soviet-era debt, and the latter is known to be hoping for lucrative oil deals once UN sanctions against the Baghdad government have been lifted. Against that backdrop, UN weapons-inspection chief Hans Blix told the BBC that continued talk of US plans to invade Iraq militarily would prevent his investigators from being admitted. (Related opinion, pge 9.)
The number of white farmers arrested in Zimbabwe for defying a government order to leave their land rose to 133, with police vowing "no favor or compromise" for those still holding out. The arrests, under President Robert Mugabe's internationally condemned land-redistribution program, began Friday. A police spokesman disputed reports that one farmer who obeyed the eviction notice was beaten nonetheless. (Related story, page 6; related editorial, page 8.)
The verdict is due today in the widely watched case of a Nigerian who appealed her death-by-stoning sentence under Islamic sharia law for giving birth out of wedlock. Amina Lawal, wearied by anxiety over her fate, has said she'll accept whatever ruling the court issues, but her lawyers vow to appeal again if the judges find against her. Earlier this year, another Nigerian Muslim woman sentenced to be stoned to death on the same grounds, was freed on a technicality.