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BILL WOLFF: This is NPR.
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MARK GARRISON: Thank you, Rachel. A quake aftershock in China sent residents running from possible floods. Soldiers blasted a rockslide in Sichuan Province, hoping to ease the flooding threat. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has more from Chengdu.
ANTHONY KUHN: Chinese soldiers carried dynamite to the Tangjiashan lake, where landslides had blocked the river and threatened downstream areas with possibly devastating floods. The official Xinhua News Agency reported that the lake had accumulated 4.5 billion cubic feet of water. Thousands of residents in the area have been evacuated.
Sunday's aftershock was centered on the border of Sichuan and Gansu Provinces. It was the strongest since the May 12th earthquake. Disaster relief officials in Sichuan's Guangyuan City said that the aftershock toppled more than 70,000 homes, many of which were apparently already damaged by the initial quake. A total of around 8,000 aftershocks have rocked the area since May 12th.
GARRISON: NPR's Anthony Kuhn reporting from Chengdu. The Chinese government now says overall quake death toll is past 65,000. They expect it to hit 80,000. China has a strict one-child-per-family policy with very few exceptions. Those who break it face heavy fines. But now in the quake's aftermath, China's easing it. The government said today quake victims with children killed or severely injured in the quake can apply to have another child.
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon is headed back to New York today, following his Myanmar mission. He was there to press the country's military government to open up to foreign aid workers. Ban also helped raise money for aid. Countries offered more than 100 million dollars, but the country previously known as Burma can't get the money unless the generals keep their word about letting aid workers in.
Here in the States, it's been a deadly holiday weekend for the Midwest. Powerful storms packing tornadoes, hail and heavy rain killed at least eight in Iowa, Minnesota. The storms followed three days of violent weather across the nation. Oklahoma and Kansas also got severe weather earlier at the weekend.
Out west, the weather in California has been good for firefighters. Some moist and cool weather has helped them get the upper hand on wild fires in the Santa Cruz mountains. Nearly 4,000 acres burned. The tide turned when the winds died down, and that kept the fire from spreading. They had them mostly under control as of this morning.
To sports and the NBA playoffs. The San Antonio Spurs bounced back to beat the L.A. Lakers last night. The Lakers led the Western Conference finals two games to one. Tonight in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics versus Detroit Pistons. Boston is up two games to one in that series. Game two of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals is also tight. The Detroit Red Wings have a one-to-nothing lead over the Pittsburg Penguins. Finally, New Zealand racer Scott Dixon won the Indy 500 Sunday. It's Dixon's first win at Indianapolis. That is your news and your sports. It's online all the time at npr.org.
WOLFF: This is NPR.
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