September 20, 2007 in Nation/World

World in brief: Ex-Khmer Rouge leader arrested

The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

Former Khmer Rouge No. 2 leader Nuon Chea speaks at his house at Pailin, Cambodia, on Tuesday. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

Cambodia’s most senior surviving Khmer Rouge leader was arrested and charged with crimes against humanity on Wednesday – three decades after the murderous regime left 1.7 million people dead through starvation, overwork and execution.

Khmer Rouge ideologist Nuon Chea, the top aide to late leader Pol Pot, was arrested at his home in northwestern Pailin near the Thai border and flown to Phnom Penh, where he was put in the custody of a U.N.-backed tribunal.

The tribunal is investigating abuses committed when the communist Khmer Rouge held power in 1975-79.

A statement released by the tribunal said its judges had placed Nuon Chea in “provisional detention” after charging him “for crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

“Now the time has come for him to share his version of the history of Khmer Rouge before the court of law,” said Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, an independent group researching Khmer Rouge crimes.

Mexico City

Hurricane Ivo forms over Pacific

A Pacific storm strengthened into a hurricane late Wednesday but was expected to weaken, the National Hurricane Center said.

Hurricane Ivo, centered about 570 miles south of the Baja California peninsula, was forecast to head northwest, then take a clockwise turn toward the peninsula while weakening, the center said.

Ivo had sustained winds of about 86 mph late Wednesday.

While the forecast shows it turning toward land, the hurricane center said the forecast past three days was “highly uncertain.”

Shanghai, China

Typhoon weakens to tropical storm

Typhoon Wipha weakened Wednesday as it swept across China, bringing torrential rains that destroyed thousands of houses and triggered landslides.

Authorities in Shanghai and nearby provinces evacuated about 2.7 million people, mostly from coastal regions, boats and unsafe housing.

Five people died in landslides unleashed by the storm, which was downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm after it hit land in southern Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the Ministry of Civil Affairs.


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