Colombia

Toll rises above 60 in mudslide

As the small mountain town of Salgar began digging out from a mudslide, the tales of human tragedy multiplied. The death toll, which authorities put at 65, was likely to grow as an undetermined number of people, perhaps as many as 100, remained unaccounted for. Authorities said they were too busy searching for bodies and assisting survivors at makeshift shelters to give a precise estimate of how many are missing. Many of the dead are believed buried in the gray moonscape along with dozens of homes, bridges and even a grade school that locals say is where former President Alvaro Uribe studied as a child growing up in his mother's hometown.

Tanzania

Disease strikes crowded refugees

Cholera and severe diarrhea have broken out among tens of thousands of refugees from Burundi who are jammed into a village in Tanzania on the edge of Lake Tanganyika, with the Burundians overwhelming the health infrastructure and sanitation facilities, aid agencies said. Between 500 and 2,000 people are arriving daily in the tiny fishing village of Kagunga, the World Health Organization said. The refugees have abandoned their country because of fears of political violence before June elections.

Iran

U.S. journalist's trial next week

Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post correspondent who has been detained in Iran for almost 10 months and accused of spying for the United States, will go on trial on May 26, the judicial authorities said Tuesday. Rezaian; his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, who is also a journalist; and a third defendant will appear before the Revolutionary Court in what is expected to be a closed proceeding. The executive editor of the Washington Post, Martin Baron, described the prosecution as "contemptible." Rezaian's lawyer, who also represents Salehi, said that she had learned of the trial date through the news media.

Pakistan

Diploma mill is raided

Pakistani investigators on Tuesday raided the offices of Axact, a software firm in Karachi that has come under scrutiny for running a global diploma mill that has earned tens of millions of dollars through a network of fake online schools. A report by the New York Times described links between Axact and at least 370 websites, many of which purport to be online universities and high schools based in the United States.

Washington, D.C.

Venezuelan official snared in case

Federal authorities are taking aim at the second most powerful official in the Venezuelan government in a widening U.S. investigation into allegations that he pocketed millions of dollars from drug profits while providing a safe haven for Colombian traffickers to ship loads of cocaine through the country to the United States. The investigation is focusing on National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello and other high-ranking Venezuelan officials. They are suspected of accepting cash bribes from Colombian drug lords in return for allowing them to use Venezuela as a trans-shipment base, and also of participating in cocaine-smuggling operations, according to U.S. law enforcement sources familiar with the probe.

California

States, provinces sign climate pact

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an agreement with leaders from 11 other states and countries pledging cooperation to battle climate change. The agreement includes the states of Oregon, Washington and Vermont, as well as the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario in Canada, the states of Baja California and Jalisco in Mexico, and the British country of Wales. Also involved are states and provinces in Brazil, Germany and Spain. The terms are not legally binding.

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