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11/28/05 World News: Laos and Thailand Lay Foundation Stone for Controversial Dam


Ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and seven of his former officials are in court today(Monday) as their trial resumes on the charge of crimes against humanity.
Television cameras inside the courtroom showed the defendants sitting in the docks and adorned in traditional head scarves, their names announced in a loud roll call. Saddam, with a Koran under his arm, was the last defendant to enter the courtroom. He briefly argued with the judge before proceedings continued.
Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and former Qatari Justice Minister Najib al-Nueimi were seated with the defense team. Analysts say their role as advisors is meant to give the defense more international credibility.

China's state news agency says 68 workers are known dead and 79 are missing after an explosion in a coal mine in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.
Xinhua says 221 miners were working at the time of the blast, which was reported late Sunday (at the Dongfeng mine in Qitaihe). Only 74 miners have been found alive.

The prime ministers of Laos and Thailand have laid the

foundation stone for the construction of the controversial Nam Theun II dam project in Laos.Laotian Prime Minister Bounnhang Vorachit said at the Sunday ceremony his country intends to generate enough power to meet domestic needs as well as for export to neighboring countries.
The 1.25 Billion dollar project has generated controversy because the dam's reservoir will displace at least 5,700 people after it is completed in 2009. The construction site is located about 250 kilometers southeast of Vientiane. A group of international investors has raised the money for the dam's construction.

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