Myanmar cyclone toll climbs to nearly 22,500

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YANGON: May 6, 2008. (Reuters) - Myanmar's military government raised its death toll from Cyclone Nargis on Tuesday to nearly 22,500 with another 41,000 missing, almost all from a massive storm surge that swept into the Irrawaddy delta.

The United Nations' World Food Programme began doling out emergency rice in Yangon, the largest city and former capital, and the first batch of more than $10 million worth of foreign aid arrived from Thailand. But a lack of specialized equipment slowed distribution. Despite the magnitude of the disaster -- the most devastating cyclone to hit Asia since 1991, when 143,000 people died in Bangladesh -- France said the ruling generals in the former Burma were still placing too many conditions on aid. "The United Nations is asking the Burmese government to open its doors. The Burmese government replies: 'Give us money, we'll distribute it.' We can't accept that," Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told parliament. In New York, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said it was prepared to make available a $5 million grant from its central emergency response fund. But Rashid Khalikov, a senior U.N. aid official, appealed to Myanmar to waive visa requirements for U.N. aid workers trying to get into the country. "Unfortunately we cannot tell you how many people are in need of assistance," he said. "We just clearly understand that it will probably be in the hundreds of thousands."

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"Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" By Nazir S Bhatti

On demand of our readers, I have decided to release E-Book version of "Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" on website of PCP which can also be viewed on website of Pakistan Christian Congress www.pakistanchristiancongress.org . You can read chapter wise by clicking tab on left handside of PDF format of E-Book.

nazirbhattipcc@aol.com , pakistanchristianpost@yahoo.com