News from Around the World

 Deadliest Hurricane Season in Two Centuries -- This year's Atlantic hurricane season left a staggering trail of death and destruction across Central America and the Caribbean. Six of the named storms -- including the season's monsters, Georges and Mitch -- affected the continental United States and caused millions in damage. The season, which started June 1, winds up on Monday after racking up the deadliest toll in more than 200 years. (Nando Times)

 JAPAN Issues Missle Alert -- A Japanese government spokesman, Akitaka Saiki, says intelligence reports indicate that North Korea could be preparing to launch another missile. His comments follow newspaper reports in Japan that Tokyo had been warned by the United States of equipment movements in North Korea. (BBC)

 Famine in SOMALIA -- Flood and drought and ruined crops have sent thousands of Somalis on a desperate trek, searching for food, relief workers report. Somali faction leader Ali Mahdi Mohamed said "Thousands of Somalis are on the brink of starvation after a series of floods and drought ruined crops in the southern (crop growing) Juba region." The U.N. food aid agency World Food Program (WFP) estimates that 700,000 Somalis are facing imminent food shortages, with some 300,000 in central Somalia most at risk. (CNN)

 CHINA Hit by Earthquake -- Wed. Dec 2 , 1998 -- A magnitude-5.1 earthquake hit the city of Xuanwei in China's southwestern Yunnan province on Tuesday at 3:37 p.m. local time. The quake has left more than 20,000 people homeless and destroyed more than 8,000 buildings (Earth Alert)

 MEXICAN Volcano Erupts -- Sun. Nov 29 , 1998 -- An explosive blast of red-hot rock from the Popocatepetl volcano on the outskirts of Mexico City roused residents from their beds and caused shock waves felt miles away, AP reported. The brief eruption late Thursday tossed glowing rock as far as two miles from the crater and caused a tremor that shook towns 10 miles away or more. (Nando Times)