Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 26th 2015 Contents A21
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Jamie Myers looks for a neighbour's antiques near an overturned truck near the West Cache Creek in
Oklahoma on Sunday. Severe weather caused flooding in the region and led to at least ten deaths in Mexico
SAN MARCOS---A tornado raged
through a Mexico border city
shortly after daybreak yesterday,
destroying homes, upending cars
and killing at least ten people.
In Texas, crews searched for
people believed to be missing after
a vacation home was swept away
by a river that had become swollen
from a line of storms that stretched
from the Gulf of Mexico to the
The system dumped record rain-
fall on parts of the Plains and Mid-
west, spawning tornadoes and
causing major flooding that forced
at least 2,000 Texans from their
Authorities in Mexico said ten
people had been confirmed killed
so far in the twister, which struck
Ciudad Acuna around 6.40 am.
Photos from the scene showed
cars with their hoods ripped off,
resting upended against single-
story houses. One car's frame was
bent around the gate of a house.
A bus was flipped and crumpled
on a roadway.
Ciudad Acuna is a city of about
100,000 across the border from
Del Rio, Texas.
In the US, three deaths were
blamed on the storms Saturday
and Sunday, including two in Okla-
homa and one in Texas, where a
man's body was recovered from a
flooded area along the Blanco River,
which rose 26 feet in an hour and
created huge piles of debris.
Among the worst-affected com-
munities were Wimberley and San
Marcos, which are in Central Texas
along the Blanco River in the
increasingly popular corridor
between Austin and San Antonio.
"It looks pretty bad out there,"
Hays County emergency manage-
ment coordinator Kharley Smith
said of Wimberley, where an esti-
mated 350 to 400 homes were
destroyed and where three people
remained missing late Sunday. "We
do have whole streets with maybe
one or two houses left on them
and the rest are just slabs."
Kristi Wyatt, a spokeswoman
for San Marcos, said about 1,000
homes were damaged throughout
Hays County, which includes
Five San Marcos police cars were
washed away and the fire house
Rivers swelled so quickly that
whole communities awoke Sunday
surrounded by water.
The Blanco crested above 40
feet---more than triple its flood
stage of 13 feet---swamping Inter-
state 35 and forcing parts of the
busy north-south highway to close.
Rescuers used pontoon boats and
a helicopter to pull people out.
"I'm absolutely dumbfounded.
I didn't think the water would ever
get that high," said Valerie Nelson,
who has owned the property for
about 50 years.
This May is already the wettest
on record for several Plains cities,
with days still to go and more rain
on the way. (AP)
10 in Mexico
JERUSALEM---Former Israeli Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert was yesterday sentenced to
eight months in prison for unlawfully
accepting money from a US supporter, cap-
ping the dramatic downfall of a man who
only years earlier led the country and hoped
to bring about a historic peace agreement
with the Palestinians.
Olmert was convicted in March in a retrial
in Jerusalem District Court. The sentencing
comes in addition to a six-year prison sen-
tence he received last year in a separate
bribery conviction, ensuring the end of the
former premier's political career.
Olmert's lawyer, Eyal Rozovsky, said
Olmert's legal team was "very disappointed"
by the ruling and would appeal to Israel's
Supreme Court. They were granted a 45-day
stay, meaning the former Israeli leader will
avoid incarceration for now.
Olmert also was given a suspended sentence
of an additional eight months and fined
A slew of character witnesses had vouched
for Olmert, including former British Prime
Minister Tony Blair and former Israeli Mossad
chief Meir Dagan, in written statements read
The verdict stated that it recognised
Olmert's vast contributions to Israeli society
and sentenced him to less than the prose-
cution had demanded.
Still, it ruled that "a black flag hovers over
Olmert was forced to resign in early 2009
amid the corruption allegations. His departure
cleared the way for hard-liner Benjamin
Netanyahu's election, and subsequent Mideast
peace efforts have not succeeded.
Olmert, 69, was acquitted in 2012 of a
series of charges that included accepting
cash-stuffed envelopes from US businessman
Morris Talansky when Olmert was mayor of
Jerusalem and a Cabinet minister.
Olmert was found to have received about
US$600,000 from Talansky during his term
as mayor, and additional amounts in cash
during his term as a Cabinet minister, but a
court did not find evidence the money had
been used for unlawful personal reasons or
illegal campaign financing.
Talansky, an Orthodox Jew from New York's
Long Island, had testified the money was
spent on expensive cigars, first-class travel
and luxury hotels, while insisting he received
nothing in return. (AP)
dreds of people held a
candlelight vigil in
Nepal's capital yester-
day to mark one month
since the earthquake
that killed thousands
of people and affected
About 200 people
gathered at the Briku-
timandap grounds in
the heart of Kathmandu
to remember the dead.
They held a minute of
silence, lit candles and
signed messages in
memory of those killed.
"We are here to pray
for peace of the people
who were killed and to
pledge that we will
rebuild the country,"
student Suresh Niraula
said. In the afternoon
about 400 people held
hands to form a human
chain around the site
where Dharahara tower
once stood. The Dhara-
hara tower, built in 1832
with a 213-step spiral
staircase, once offered
a panoramic view of the
capital. Its collapse in
the earthquake crushed
at least five dozen peo-
ple. The 7.8-magnitude
temblor on April 25 and
another powerful quake
on May 12 together
killed nearly 8,700 peo-
ple and injured 16,800
others. The government
and development agen-
cies are seeking money
from donors to help
rebuild Nepal. The
appealed for $423 mil-
lion to cover key emer-
gency sectors for three
months. UN official
Jamie McGoldrick said
yesterday that only 22
per cent has been fund-
ed, "a very big gap in
what we need to make
sure that response to
this crisis is effective,
gets 8 months
RIO DE JANEIRO---A prison riot in
northeastern Brazil left at least seven
dead after a fight between two gangs
escalated and led to about 70 people,
many visiting family members, being
held hostage for several hours.
It's not yet clear if all seven killed
were inmates. Prison officials in Bahia
state, where the riot took place, say
they negotiated an end to the
standoff yesterday and all hostages
have been released. Several people
were injured in the uprising---but it's
not yet known how many. The riot
began late Sunday in the Feira de
Santana regional prison. It's severely
overcrowded---holding 1,467 prisoners
in a space built for 644.
Prison riots are relatively frequent
in Brazil and often involve multiple
Prison riot leaves 7 dead
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