- - - - - - + From the London Times
Wedged in between the wheels of an aircraft, a boy survived a five-hour flight from Senegal to France at an altitude of more than 30,000 feet and a temperature of 58 degrees below zero. Doctors say it is a medical miracle that the boy, who claims to be 15 years old, is alive. "Normally, five hours of brutal hypoxia would be enough to provoke a coma, then a cerebral oedema and death," said Emmannuel Cauchy, a specialist in altitude illnesses. The stowaway was discovered last week, in the advanced stages of hypothermia, when the plane landed at the Lyons airport. He is believed to be in stable condition.
- - - - - - + From ABC News
In Peru, heavy rains have caused the suspension of train service from Cusco to Machu Picchu for at least 20 days. A landslide caused a river to flood the train tracks, and until they can be repaired, tourists are left with only one transportation option -- helicopters. Although helicopters can accommodate up to 900 tourists a day, authorities say many visitors probably won't want to travel this way since it can cost up to three times more than the train.
- - - - - - + From MSNBC
It's a modest goal of half a degree, but if engineers are successful, the Leaning Tower of Pisa just might stand more erect. Excavation began Tuesday in an attempt to stabilize the Renaissance bell tower, which now leans 16 feet from vertical and has sunk 10 feet into the spongy soil. If the work goes well, the Pisa Commission chief says the monument could be reopened to the public later this year.
- - - - - - + From the Washington Post
An earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale hit in the coffee-growing region of Armenia, Colombia, Monday, leaving 878 confirmed dead, more than 3,410 injured and others still unaccounted for. It is being called the worst earthquake to devastate the country in the last century. On-site observers say Armenia is "on the verge of anarchy" due to looting and delays in medical care and the delivery of food, water, clothes and other necessities. The president of Colombia, Andres Pastrana, pledged an initial $12.6 million to help in the rebuilding of homes.
- - - - - - + From the International Herald Tribune
For the first time in 24 years, the Indonesian government said that it will consider freeing East Timor. The move is part of President B.J. Habibie's plan to stabilize the Indonesian government by implementing political reforms and improving human rights. It also follows the United Nations' recognition of Portugal -- to which the island belonged until Indonesia invaded in 1975 -- as the "legitimate administering authority."
- - - - - - + From the Sydney Morning Herald
At Sydney's airport, where there has been mounting criticism over the scarcity of cabs, passengers waited in lines of up to 500 people for a taxi Wednesday night. Cabbies blamed holiday traffic and a new split arrival-departures roadway system. The debate is especially cantankerous since the city is gearing up for the onslaught of Olympics-bound visitors in 2000.
- - - - - - + From CNN
There's no doubt that, at 565 pounds, Konishiki is impressive to look at. But how alluring is he? Hawaiian tourism officials kicked off the beginning of a multimedia campaign in Japan this week, featuring the former sumo wrestler floating on an inner tube, singing "Blue Hawaii." Officials hope he will entice visitors to the Aloha State, which is suffering a decline in tourism.