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Miners freed after two weeks

Tue., May 9, 2006, midnight

Two Australian miners who survived for two weeks in a kennel-size cage trapped 3,000 feet underground walked out of the Beaconsfield Gold Mine early today and punched the air, freed by rescue crews drilling round-the-clock by hand.

Hundreds of well-wishers gathered at the mine gates erupted in cheers when Brant Webb, 37, and Todd Russell, 34, emerged.

Before going, they removed their identity tags from the wall outside the elevator – a standard safety measure carried out by all miners when they finish a shift.

Webb and Russell were buried after a small earthquake April 25 trapped the safety cage they were working in under tons of rock.

NYALA, Sudan

Refugees riot; U.N. official flees

Darfur refugees rioted Monday and forced the U.N. humanitarian chief to rush from their camp, then later attacked African peacekeepers and killed a translator in a sign of deep tensions in the war-torn region despite a fragile peace deal.

The violence broke out as the U.N.’s Jan Egeland toured Kalma camp, home to some 90,000 displaced people driven from their villages in Darfur. He was met by about 1,000 protesters demanding U.N. peacekeepers be deployed in the region.

The protesters attacked a translator traveling with Egeland after someone in the crowd accused the man of working with the Janjaweed, the feared Arab militia blamed for atrocities against villagers, U.N. spokeswoman Dawn Blalock said.

About a half-hour later, the crowd attacked unarmed African Union peacekeepers, killing a Sudanese translator working with the AU and making off with communications equipment.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa

Zuma acquitted, but future cloudy

A man who once seemed in line to be South Africa’s next president was acquitted of rape Monday in the country’s most politically charged trial since the end of apartheid.

Supporters erupted into boisterous celebrations, but former Deputy President Jacob Zuma still faces trial in July on separate corruption charges – accusations supporters say were part of a conspiracy against him – and his political future was in question.

Zuma’s testimony about having unprotected consensual sex with an HIV-positive AIDS activist demonstrated an amazing ignorance about HIV transmission by a man who once headed South Africa’s campaign against the virus.


 

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