AUSTRALIA: Wildfires destroy homes near Perth
Wildfires have torn across the outskirts of Perth, destroying 41 homes and damaging 19, a Western Australian state Fire and Emergency Services official said Monday. A firefighter was injured, but not seriously. Two fires have burned since late Saturday north and southeast of Perth.
CAMBODIA-THAILAND: Border clashes in 3rd day
Cambodia said part of an 11th-century temple was damaged Sunday by the Thai army as artillery and mortar fire were exchanged across their disputed border. And the firing continued Monday. The extent of the damage to the Preah Vihear temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was not clear. Fighting continued across the darkened mountainous border for more than three hours Sunday. The fiercest border clashes in years erupted Friday. The clashes initially broke out close to the temple, which belongs to Cambodia under a 1962 World Court ruling disputed by many Thais. Preah Vihear, a Hindu temple that reflects the beliefs of the kings who ruled the then Angkorean empire, is atop a 1,722-foot cliff in the Dangrek Mountains, 150 miles north of Phnom Penh. Both sides accuse each other of instigating the latest fighting. Demonstrators in Bangkok have demanded the ouster of Cambodians from the area.
CHILE: Indigenous squatters evicted from hotel
Police on Easter Island raided the grounds of a luxury hotel Sunday to evict the last of dozens of indigenous protesters battling for ancestral lands and a larger share of profits from tourists who come to see the Pacific Island's mysterious statues of giant heads. A Rapa Nui clan's claims to land under the $800-a-night Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa has won support from international human rights agencies, and pose dilemmas for a Chilean government criticized for its treatment of indigenous people on the mainland. The last 50 squatters from the Hito clan were hauled off after they had tied themselves down in the lobby. They were processed and freed pending a court hearing, police said. They had been there since August. The Hitos claim the land was swindled from their illiterate grandmother and sold into private hands under Gen. Augusto Pinochet.